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Peach Season

In Season: Peaches

Source: Thinkstock

July is peak time for peaches, those stone fruits so known for their floral aroma, fuzzy skin, and juicy flesh. To take full advantage of the fact that right now they're at the apex of their ripeness, I stopped by San Jose's J&P Farms — Santa Clara County's last working orchard. After taking a stroll through the rows of peach trees, I spoke with owner Phil Cosentino about peach season.

While peaches are ready as early as May and available until late September, peach season is at its peak in July and August — although since peach season began early this year due to warmer weather, it'll wrap up sooner than usual.

Keep reading to find out how to pick the perfect peach.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Whenever possible, visit a local peach orchard or fruit stand, as many large commercial grocery giants select peaches before they are meant to be plucked from the vine. Whether selecting peaches at an orchard, fruit stand, or supermarket, examine the area around the stem, as it indicates ripeness when picked: the stem cavity should be wide and open rather than narrow and restricted. To select the sweetest peaches, take a look at the peach's base color. The peach's lightest color, regardless of shade (cream, yellow, orange, etc.), should be a warm hue. The best peaches will have no green undertones.

One last thing: don't squeeze peaches when selecting them; you'll simply bruise them. That said, it is perfectly fine to pick a bruised peach, as many of them are extremely sweet, and the bruises are harmless.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Do you have peach stands near your house? If you have other peach tips to offer, share 'em with us below. In the meantime, here are a few peach recipes, should you find yourself with a surplus of the fruit.

Cover image source: Shutterstock
Grace-Wilcox Grace-Wilcox 5 years
Yum! Nothing like a perfect juicy peach!
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
Grilled sounds NUMMY!
orangek8 orangek8 9 years
Peaches are my favorite fruit of ALL. I love them for breakfast on cereal, mixed with fresh blueberries too. They're incredible grilled also!
suziryder suziryder 9 years
Bruised peaches make THE BEST peach jam. My parents are in the process of whipping up lots and lots of peach jam for wedding favors for my South Jersey wedding next June! Yay!
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 9 years
The most amazing peach flavor I've ever had was a cold peach soup at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV. It was fantastic!
Babycakes1234 Babycakes1234 9 years
Just made white peach crisp which is truly one of the best things ever. Peach gelato is a winner too.
esk4 esk4 9 years
I will be going to the peach festival in Wilbraham Mass in 2 weeks!!! can't wait I love peaches
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
LOVE them cut up and mixed with blueberries, topped of with a splash of cream and sprinkle of sugar.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm LOVE peaches!
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