Summer is the perfect time to make a mess while eating and if you just can’t help yourself from biting into a sweet and juicy peach, you’ll be forgiven.
There are many types of peaches to choose from, so whether you want a treat that is super sweet, or are ready to roll up your sleeves and start canning, finding the right variety of peach shouldn’t be too difficult.
What are peaches?
Peaches are a type of fruit. They like warmer climates and are usually ripe in July and August, although some varieties are available from May to October.
Peaches have pits inside of them that are not edible and need to be removed or eaten around.
How many types of peaches are there?
Globally, there are over 2,000 varieties of peaches and while they are native to China, peach trees are now grown in many different countries.
Different Types of peaches
If you love peaches but just can’t get past the fuzzy skin, you’ll love Babcock peaches. Their smooth skin is quite appealing, although they are a smaller variety.
Taste-wise, Babcock peaches have a lovely balance of sweet and tangy flavors.
El Dorado Peaches
Interestingly, the peach trees that El Dorado peaches grown on are quite small, and are categorized as dwarf trees. However, the fruit itself is medium-sized.
El Dorado peaches are nice and sweet, and perfect for dessert.
Adorable in appearance, Doughnut peaches have a flattened shape, and their stem area really looks like a bit of a doughnut hole. These peaches are sweet and juicy, with a low level of acidity.
While it can be hard to find Doughnut peaches, they are available in the summer and are sometimes a star at farmers’ markets.
Melting Flesh Peaches
The name might be a bit extreme, but essentially, Melting Flesh peaches have flesh that falls right off the inner peach. While this is convenient, the downside is that the flesh can become very soft and even soggy quite quickly.
As long as they are handled delicately, Melting Flesh peaches are great in desserts such as pies.
Freestone Varietal Peaches
Within the category of Freestone Varietal peaches, you will find a few different types. These include Red Top Peaches and O’Henry peaches. They are distinguished by the fact their flesh easily separates from their pits.
Honey Babe Peaches
While Honey Babe peaches are on the small size, they are still quite sweet. They have a nice, yellow flesh with very little acidity.
Originating from China, Peento peaches are now widely available in California and Washington. They have quite a flat shape to them although still retain the characteristically red, orange, and yellow hues on their skin.
Grown in California, Forty-Niner peaches are one of the largest varieties. They are quite delicate, so you want to take care when handling them.
Forty-Niner Peaches have a yellow skin and are not overly sweet.
Mostly grown in Virginia, Madison peaches are a freestone variety, and thus are quite popular. Their inside flesh is a dark yellow that turns red near the pit.
Madison peaches are ready in the fall and their intense taste makes them perfect for eating right away. Furthermore, their strong flesh makes them hold up during canning and freezing processes.
Similar to the famous birds, Cardinal peaches have a bright red skin with lovely yellow accents. They are sweet, but not overly so, and inside, the peach flesh is nice and firm.
White Flesh Peaches
Yes, White Flesh peaches have white flesh inside of them. While the peaches are whiter near the skin, the flesh does turn to a dark pink closer to the pit.
White Flesh peaches are sweet and not too acidic. They are often found growing in Asia.
Larger in size than other types of peaches, Cresthaven peaches are sweet and juicy. The beauty in these peaches is that they have flesh that is very firm and doesn’t bruise. As a result, they have a larger shelf life than most peaches that are more delicate.
August Pride Peaches
Large in size, August Pride peaches primarily grow in California. The have a light yellow flesh that is surrounded by a blush red skin.
One of the most quintessential peach desserts is Peach Melba, and of course, you want Melba peaches for this recipe. Essentially, peaches are cut in half, poached, and then served with a sweet fruit puree and ice cream.
As for the Melba peaches themselves, they are quite large and have a white flesh wrapped in yellow skin.
Small in size, with a slightly oblong appearance, Ventura peaches are usually grown in California. Their skin is a deep red color that fades into yellow.
While Ventura peaches are sweet, they have an acidic flavor that slightly offsets it.
Tropic Snow Peaches
If you just can’t wait for peach season, then you should be on the lookout for Tropic Snow Peaches. They are harvested earlier than most varieties, usually in June.
Tropic Snow peaches have a bold red skin and inside the white flesh is tasty and sweet.
While a lot of peaches grow in typical, warm climates, Polly Peaches actually grow in Iowa. They are medium-sized and are quite juicy.
Grown in New Hampshire, Reliance peaches are a freestone variety. Their skin is mostly yellow with soft shade of red. As for their flesh, it is yellow in color and very juicy.
Yellow Flesh Peaches
Another descriptive variety, Yellow Flesh peaches have a bright yellow flesh inside of them. They are sometimes not as sweet as other varieties, and instead, have a tangy flavor to them.
The growing season for Yellow Flesh peaches is quite long, lasting from May to September.
While nectarines are often classified as their own type of fruit, they are actually just another variety of peach. The biggest difference is that this variety doesn’t have any fuzz on its skin.
Taste-wise, nectarines are juicy and sweet.
White Health Cling Peaches
Grown in Maryland, White Health Cling peaches are larger than most peaches. They are a clingstone variety, so their flesh does not separate easily from the pit.
Inside, their white flesh is soft and juicy, while outside the skin is a wonderful mix of white and red coloring.
When you purchase Freestone Peaches, you are trading convenience for taste. While they are sweet, they are not as juicy as other Clingstone varieties of peaches.
However, Freestone peaches easily separate their flesh from the pits. Therefore, you can slice open a peach and eat it quite easily.
Snow Beauty Peaches
Quite large in size, Snow Beauty peaches have a lovely red skin on them. Inside, you’ll find a gorgeous, contrasting white flesh.
Overall, Snow Beauty peaches are incredibly delicious and if you can find the variety, you won’t be disappointed.
Clingstone Varietal Peaches
Within the Clingstone Varietal Peaches, there are actually a few specific types, including Red Beauty and Santa Rosa. Because the inside fruit clings to the pit of the peaches, these are not ideal for eating fresh.
Instead, Clingstone Varietal Peaches are usually used for canning purposes. Their yellow flesh has a sweet and slightly acidic flavor, and they are crisp in texture.
Early Amber Peaches
Grown in Florida, Early Amber peaches have a lovely dark red skin that fades into yellow. Inside, the flesh is a bright yellow color.
Early Amber peaches are nice and sweet, and for texture expect a medium-firm flesh.
While most peaches are only available in the summer months, there are a few exceptions. For example, Halloween peaches are ripe in the fall, usually around Halloween-time.
Halloween peaches are quite large and have skin that is mottled with red and yellow coloring. Their flesh is a bright yellow color, making this variety the perfect fall fruit.
The variety known as Clingstone peaches refers to types of this fruit where the inside flesh clings to the inner pit. It can be a bit troublesome to cut through and slice the fruit, so many people opt not to bother.
Instead, Clingstone peaches are usually used in canned or processed methods.
Arctic Supreme Peaches
A Clingstone variety, Arctic Supreme peaches are still worth the effort as they are incredibly flavorful. They have a lovely white flesh on the inside, surrounded by a cream and red blush skin.
What are the sweetest types of peaches?
Finding the sweetest types of peaches can be hard, and you may have to start taste-testing your way to a conclusion.
While yellow flesh peaches are fairly sweet, most agree that white flesh peaches have a slight edge.
Peaches are the perfect summer fruit. Not only are they nutritious and juicy, but they are incredibly sweet.
There are many varieties of peaches and in the summer months you can find them either at your local farmer’s market or at the grocery store.
Whether you bite into them fresh from the tree or bake them into a pie, peaches will continue to delight your senses.