Is a Peach a Citrus Fruit?

By: The Hale Groves Team | On: | Category: Fruit Facts
fresh peaches

It gives us great pleasure at Hale Grove to ship peaches to our customers as early as April, thanks to Petite Florida Peaches that are available as early as April! Before this variety was available, our customers couldn’t expect to enjoy the succulent summer fruit before June at the earliest. But you may be wondering why peaches are traditionally known as a summer fruit – after all, they grow on trees in warmer climates; doesn’t that make them a citrus fruit?

It’s an easy mistake to make…after all, peaches that are not quite ripe may have citrus overtones in their flavor (much like their sister fruit, the nectarine, in which the slight citrus flavor is a bit more pronounced even at the fruit’s ripest). But the fact is, when you send fruit baskets from Hale Groves to your loved ones during the wintertime, they will not contain peaches, because the peach is not a citrus fruit.

Peaches are Drupes

Citrus fruits like Navel Oranges, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Honeybells are Hale Groves’ most delivered fruit in the winter, despite the fact that peaches grow best in warmer climates. But peaches are not citrus fruits – while they may have a few things in common with citrus fruits, they’re actually very different as they are in fact stone fruits, or “drupes.”

While citrus fruits commonly contain several seeds, drupes are fruit in which the fleshy, edible part of the fruit surrounds a single stone (or seed encased in a hardened shell). In addition to peaches, nectarines, cherries and plums are all drupes or stone fruits. (When you order fruit online from Hale Groves, you can also order cherries and plums when they’re in season.)

Another thing that makes citrus fruits different from stone fruits or drupes are their skins. Citrus fruits have thick, pulpy skins that are generally peeled away to allow for eating the juicy, sectioned inner flesh of the fruit. Drupes or stone fruits have thin skins that are often eaten right along with the flesh of the fruit. Peach skins are known for their downy texture, while nectarines (which are otherwise very similar to peaches) have smooth skins. Peach skins are often removed before cooking (though they can be left on, particularly when grilling peaches).

Finally, there’s taste. Some citrus fruits (like lemons and limes) are quite sour, while even the sweetest citrus fruits have a tanginess to them. There’s no tanginess to a ripe peach! The sweetness of the peach is legendary, making it a perfect choice for a summer cobbler.

Peaches: Health Benefits

Fresh peaches aren’t only delicious – they’re healthy, too! Peaches are high in vitamin C (maybe one of the reasons why some folks mistakenly assume they are citrus fruits), a powerful antioxidant proven to reduce your risk of getting cancer, improve the health and appearance of your skin, boost your immune system so you can better fight off and/or recover from flus and colds, improve your eye health and keep your cardiovascular system strong. Peaches also contain beta-carotene (an antioxidant that turns to vitamin A in your system which also helps your immune system and are high in fiber, which keeps your digestion regular. Plus, peaches can help you maintain a healthy weight. At just 60 calories and with 0 saturated fats, 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, peaches are a diet-friendly snack with a natural sweetness that satisfies you (as well as high fiber and water content that keeps you feeling full).

Ways to Enjoy Peaches

Peaches can be enjoyed in so many ways; fresh eaten out of hand as a snack, topped with yogurt and granola for breakfast, grilled and added to your favorite salad, or glazed with honey and sprinkled in cinnamon for baking and topped with ice cream for dessert. They can also be baked into pies, preserved, chopped into chutneys…the possibilities are endless!

Peaches also make great gifts. Including peaches, gifts of fruit from Hale Groves are always welcome because when we deliver fruit to your or your loved ones, it’s always perfect when it arrives: fragrant, flavorful, and perfectly ripe. If you’ve been disappointed in the past by a store-bought peach, online ordering from Hale Groves is the way to go. We guarantee you’ll be delighted when you buy Hale peaches – the only way to get fresher peaches is to pick them yourself!

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