How long are peaches good for?
Fresh peaches for sale are best bought between May and August. Sweet peaches are at their best during these months when they are in season. Their juicy sweetness makes them a favorite in any kitchen.
The origin of the peach can be traced back to China. They were forst brought to America in the 17th century by George Minifie. This stone fruit was not commercialized until the 19th century but has since become one of the most popular among summer fruits. Peach trees thrive in hot, humid climates and they are produced in South Carolina, Florida, California, Idaho, and Georgia. Georgia peaches are well sought after and are, in fact, the representative fruit of the state.
There are several things you need to take note of when picking your peaches in the market. These will help you identify peaches that are ready to eat. First, pick peaches that have a deep golden yellow color background. The red coloration of the peaches is not a good indicator of this fruit’s sweetness so don’t be confused. Next, give a gentle but firm squeeze using your fingers. Ripe peaches are very soft so get those if you are planning to eat or use them immediately. The fruit should have a little give if you plan to store the fruit before consumption. Finally, check the skin around the stem of the fruit. If there are wrinkles, then that’s a good peach. These wrinkles develop when water starts to leave the fruit, which in turn intensifies the flavor of the peach.
After making your purchase, it’s important to know how long these fruits are good for. If stored in a clean, dry place at room temperature, a peach usually takes between 1-3 days before it fully ripens. You can hasten the ripening process by keeping the peaches in a paper bag. The shelf life of peaches can be extended between 3-5 days by placing them in a plastic bag and refrigerating them. For best results, try not to store them in the frefrigerator until they’re fully ripe. Instead, let them ripen at room temperature for a better flavor.
If you want to store the peaches for much longer, some preparation is needed before freezing. First, pit the fruit then half or slice it up. Next, make a solution of ½ teaspoon of ascorbic acid for every 6 tablespoons of water. Coat the peach slices with the solution to prevent darkening. Finally, add ⅔ cup of sugar for every quart of fruit and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Place the fruits in an airtight container or freezer bag before finally storing them in the freezer. If prepared correctly, the peaches can be stored 10-12 months.
Before consuming stored peaches, carefully inspect for dark spots and oozing. Overripe peaches are very soft and mushy, but unless there is mold or the fruit has an off smell and appearance, they can still be used to make shakes, cocktails or jams