Stone fruit season is one of the sweetest parts of summer. Knowing a thing or two about what to expect means more fun and less waste, so here are your top questions about stone fruit, answered!
When is stone fruit in season?
In the U.S., stone fruit season starts in late May and runs until October. Peaches generally start first in May, followed by apricots and nectarines and then plums in June and July.
Where is stone fruit grown?
The lion’s share of US peaches are grown in California, with South Carolina and Georgia producing a significant amount of yellow peaches for the East Coast market.
California grows over 95% of the country’s nectarines, apricots, and plums.
Why is my stone fruit firm when it’s delivered?
All retailers, including Imperfect, buy stone fruit while it’s still firm so it doesn’t get bruised or damaged while it travels from the farm to your door.
What’s the best way to store stone fruit?
Like some of our favorite seasonal treats like avocados and tomatoes, the reality is that stone fruits are fragile and have a “peak eating window” that’s narrower than our schedules might like.
If you plan to eat your peaches or nectarines soon, you can leave them on your counter as they’ll ripen faster at room temperature.
If you bought more stone fruit than you can finish, or a lot of your fruit is already ripe and soft, keep them in your fridge, since the cold temperatures will slow down the ripening process.
How do I know when stone fruit is ripe?
The fruit will feel slightly tender to the touch and smell fragrant. If you press it with your finger, it should leave an imprint.
If you’ve got a stubbornly firm stonefruit or are just impatient, store it in a paper bag on the counter alongside an apple or a banana. The ethylene gas from the ripening fruit will make your stone fruit ripen faster.
What can I cook with stone fruit?
Besides being great for snacking, stone fruit shines in the kitchen. We particularly love grilling peaches, since they make for a satisfying and easy dessert.
Different types of stone fruit shine in different recipes. Nectarines are amazing in salads alongside seasonal veggies and fresh herbs, peaches excel in baked goods like pies and donuts, and apricots make spectacular jam!