Fresh Grocer: Peaches

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Tony Tantillo talks peaches.

Tony Tantillo talks peaches.

BOSTON (CBS) – There’s nothing more pleasing to the palate than a perfectly ripened peach.

Our fresh grocer Tony Tantillo has some tips on how to find the perfect one and how to keep it that way.

The challenging nature of finding a truly delicious peach makes their selection and storage very important. The reward of biting into a juicy, sweet peach makes the extra detail in selecting and storing worth it.

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To ensure their quality and taste, look for peaches that are “tree ripened” or “California Well Mature”. This will mean that the peaches reached their maturity before being picked. Also, pay attention to how your supermarket stores their peaches. Supermarkets should store their peaches in the open bins, not in the cold section.

When selecting your peaches, look for those that are well-rounded with shades of deep yellow coloring skin coloring under a red blush. Ripe peaches will yield to gentle pressure, particularly along the seam, and give off a sweet fragrance. Peaches selected when they are brightly colored but firm to moderately hard will ripen in two to three days at room temperature. Avoid peaches that are stored cold, rock hard, green or mushy, or have shriveled skins since they will never ripen properly or taste good.

At home, store peaches on the counter at room temperature until ripe. To quicken the ripening process, place peaches in a paper bag until fully ripe. Adding ethylene-producing fruit like bananas and apple into the paper bag will accelerate further the ripening process. When ripe, peaches should be stored in the refrigerator until eaten, but only for a couple of days since the cold storage will reduce their juice and flavor.

Before eating or cooking peaches, wash them in cool water and dry with a paper towel or soft cloth to remove the remaining fuzz. Most of the fuzz should be already removed by the commercial washing process.

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