Peaches are juicy fruits with over 2,000 varieties found worldwide. They are members of the rose family, close relatives of almonds, and among those called “stone fruits” because of the hard pits surrounding their seeds.
The peach originated in China and domesticated as early as 6,000 B.C. China remains the world’s leading producers of peaches accounting for about half of global production.
Its scientific name prunus persica, which means Persian Plum, comes from the early European belief that the peach originated in Persia or modern-day Iran. Meanwhile, the ancient Romans called it malum persicum, which means Persian apple. Its name later evolved into the French pêche or the English “peach.”
Peaches Nutrition Facts Chart
Now let’s jump into your peach options.
Basic Types of Peaches
Whenever peaches contain flesh that sticks to the pit of the fruit, they are called Clingstone peaches. These peaches can have yellow or white flesh and they are usually very sweet and juicy. If you choose this type of peach, it is recommended that you cut the pit away from the fruit with a knife instead of eating around the pit. Nowadays, most Clingstone peaches are used for processing instead of making desserts, in part because of the requirement of separating the flesh from the pit before eating.
Clingstone Varietal Peaches
These varieties include the Santa Rosa peaches, which are best when eaten from May to August and have yellow flesh and a sweet and acidic flavor. They are mostly used for preserving and canning purposes, although they are occasionally used for baking and in salads, and they have a crisp, firm bite. Another variety is the Red Beauty peach, which is tender and has a skin that is almost red in color. The Red Beauty has flesh that is reddish-yellow in color and is also in season from May to August.
Doughnut peaches are an heirloom peach and have white flesh and a fairly flat shape. They are found mostly in July and August in either specialty produce stores or local farmers’ markets. They are low in acid, making them very tasty.
Freestone peaches are less sweet and juicy than the Clingstone type of peaches but they are the most commonly found peaches in the supermarkets and in various desserts. They get their name because they have flesh that is easily separated from the pit. Their flesh can be either yellow or white, depending on the variety.
Freestone Varietal Peaches
There are several different varieties that fall under this category. One of the most popular is the O’Henry peach, which matures in late summer and has thin red skin and firm yellow flesh. The only thing more appealing than their aroma is their perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. You can use O’Henry peaches for mixing drinks, eating raw, and making preserves and sorbets.
A variety known as the Red Top peach, which is also a late-summer variety, comes with great-smelling leaves and attractive pink flowers, not to mention a sweet and tart flavor. Last, Elegant Lady peaches are firm, mildly acidic, and very fragrant. They are mostly used for snacking, canning, and baking purposes.
Melting Flesh Peaches
These peaches have flesh that falls apart and softens easily, especially over time. If you try and cut them with a knife, they will become raggedy and torn. Melting flesh peaches include both the Clingstone and Freestone varieties and they are perfect to include in cobblers, pies, and other yummy desserts. You can also eat them raw for a nice, fresh taste.
Nectarines are a type of peach if you look at them from a botanical viewpoint. Their flavor varies a bit, depending on the variety; in reality, the main difference between peaches and nectarines is that nectarines have smooth, fuzz-free skin and usually a darker color than most peaches.
Non-Melting Flesh Peaches
Unlike melting flesh peaches, these peaches’ flesh stays nice and firm for a very long time, which is one of the reasons why they are used for processed foods and for canning purposes. Clingstone peaches make up this category and they are only occasionally used in desserts or eaten raw.
Peento peaches are a type of Chinese peach but they are now also grown in the United States in the states of Washington and California. They come in a wide variety of colors and flesh types. Instead of a spherical shape that resembles other types of peaches, Peento peaches are either flat or shaped similarly to doughnuts.
These peaches are a mix between the Freestone and Clingstone types of peaches and they boast two main advantages: they are extremely sweet and juicy and their flesh does not cling to the pit. They are a very tasty type of peach that is definitely worth trying.
White Flesh Peaches
As the name suggests, these peaches are a light yellow to white color in flesh and are a little less acidic than the Yellow Flesh peaches. The center that surrounds the pit is usually either pink or red and they are sweet but not very tart. Their peak season is May through August and they are grown mostly in Asia.
Yellow Flesh Peaches
With a taste that combines an acidic and sweet characteristic, these peaches are usually dark red in the center and have flesh that is either orange or yellow. They have a smooth but slightly tangy flavor and they are best when purchased from May through September. There are a lot of different varieties of the Yellow Flesh peaches and they are mostly grown in Europe and North America.
Types of Peaches Perfect for the Home Garden
Arctic Supreme Peaches
These peaches are large and have a red-and-cream color and white flesh. They have a great flavor and are considered a type of Clingstone peach.
August Pride Peaches
August Pride peaches have red-blushed skin and yellow flesh that tastes delicious. They are large and round and they are mostly grown in California.
With a small to medium size, these peaches are fuzz-free and have a tasty, white flesh that is both tangy and sweet.
Baby Crawford Peaches
These peaches are a golden-orange color and have yellow flesh that is extremely tasty.
With bright red-and-yellow skin, Cardinal peaches have firm yellow flesh and are harvested in early to mid-season.
With a medium to large size, Cresthaven peaches have firm yellow flesh and are very juicy. They also resist browning and can, therefore, stay around for a very long time.
Early Amber Peaches
With dark red-and-yellow skin, these peaches have medium-firm flesh that is orangish-yellow in color and are mostly grown in Florida.
El Dorado Peaches
These peaches have yellow flesh that is very rich in taste and they are medium-sized but grow on trees categorized as dwarf trees.
The Forty-Niner peaches are quite large and have flesh with a very fine texture. They grow mostly in California and have yellow skin blushed with red.
These peaches bloom in mid to late season and have yellow flesh and a tangy flavor. They are medium-sized and have skin that is blushed with red.
Halloween peaches are large fruits and have yellow flesh and yellow skin blushed with red. As their name implies, they are normally ready to be harvested around Halloween time.
Honey Babe Peaches
These are rather small peaches with yellow flesh that is very sweet. They are ready to be harvested in mid-season and grow on trees considered to be dwarfs.
A freestone peach from Virginia, the Madison peach has orange-yellow flesh that gets red near the center where the pit is located. They are harvested late in the season and have a very rich flavor. They are also perfect for canning and for freezing.
These are very large fruits with yellow skin and white flesh. They are sweet and juicy with a touch of a honey taste and they are harvested in midseason.
These medium-sized peaches are red and white and have sweet, juicy white flesh. They are harvested in mid-season and grown mostly in Iowa.
These peaches are yellow with a touch of dark red in them. They are a freestone variety from New Hampshire and they have a yellow flesh that tastes great.
Rio Grande Peaches
A freestone variety from Florida, the Rio Grande peach has a fine texture with yellow flesh and is perfect for eating fresh right out of your hand.
Snow Beauty Peaches
These peaches are very large and have red skin. Their flesh is white and many people consider them to be one of the tastiest peaches in existence.
Southern Sweet Peaches
With a red-and-yellow skin and medium size, these peaches hail from California and are extremely tasty.
Tropic Snow Peaches
These peaches are medium in size and have skin that is red in color. They have white flesh and are very tasty. They are harvested early in the season.
These peaches are small and oblong in shape. They are yellow in color with a wine-red blush and they have a slightly acidic flavor. They are mostly harvested in California.
White Health Cling Peaches
These medium- to large-sized peaches are a Clingstone variety from Maryland. Harvested late in the season, they have a white flesh that is very juicy and red-and-white skin.