When do Georgia Peaches Get Ripe?
Summer Time in Georgia Means one thing: Peaches! Summertime is Peach Season in Georgia (May – September). They are grown for 16-18 weeks, with ripening starting in mid-May to early August. You can see local fruit stands selling different varieties of peaches, farms selling homegrown Georgia Peaches by the crate, and local restaurants featuring different sweet peach recipes on their menus.
There’s nothing like a perfectly ripened, sweet Georgia peach. That’s because Georgia Peaches are packed and shipped straight from the tree all in one day! Consumers are always guaranteed freshness every time they buy Peaches from Georgia.
There are about four dozen types of peaches from Georgia. The Most Common is the Empress Peach, which is used for baking pies and pastries. Clingstone, and Freestone peaches are used for canning and fruit salads. Clingstone peach flesh does not fall off the pit, while freestone peach meat falls easily off the pit.
How can you tell if a Georgia Peach is ripe?
There are four characteristics that can help you select a sweet, juicy, ready-to-eat peach:
- Color – Consumers often make the mistake of thinking that the color red is an indication of ripeness. What you should really be looking for is the yellow background color of the fruit. A deep golden yellow is a good sign that the fruit is ready to eat.
- Touch- You can tell if a peach is ripe or not by a gentle, yet firm squeeze with your fingers. A rock hard feel tells that the peach was harvested too early. A little bit of give means the fruit is almost ripe and needs little more time (probably a day or two).
- Smell – A peach that’s not yet ripe won’t smell as strong. As a peach ripens the smell becomes stronger and more intense.
- Appearance/Texture of Skin – Once a peach has been picked, water will start to evaporate from the fruit. As it dries the flavor intensifies. Looking for signs of shriveled skin around the stem can also tell you if a peach is ready to eat.
Should Georgia Peaches be refrigerated?
So you bought a Peach that’s not so ready to eat yet. No problem! Leave it to sit at room temperature. Georgia Peaches will continue to ripen after they’ve been harvested. Refrigerating Georgia Peaches before they are fully ripe may cause a less-sweet flavor and grittier texture.
Once peaches have reached the desired ripeness, enjoy them right away or place them in the refrigerator for a day or two to keep.
Peach Preparation Tips:
To peel peaches, place them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunge in cold water for 60 seconds to blanch them. You should be able to slide the peels off easily.
Keep sliced peaches from darkening by adding a squeeze of lemon juice. Store them in an airtight container.
Frozen Georgia Peaches – Prepare a syrup by dissolving 4 parts water in 2 parts sugar. Blanch peaches, remove the skin and pit. Store peaches with syrup in a freezer-safe container.
Peach puree – blend 1 cup peeled and chopped peaches with one teaspoon sugar and 1 tablespoon water until smooth. Peach puree is great for smoothies, cocktails, and other summer beverages.