How To Select The Perfect Peaches Every Time

What's sweet, fuzzy on the outside, and serves as the star of its own festival every year in Georgia? Peaches! Georgia is known as "The Peach State" (per Farm Flavor), and with so many desserts to choose from at the Georgia Peach Festival (such as peach jelly, peach ice cream, and the world's largest peach cobbler), few could argue that it's important to pick the perfect peaches for these recipes. After all, you probably don't want to incorporate peaches that are already spoiled, which, according to Still Tasty, will feel too soft and show dark spots.

Now there's certainly more to the art of peach picking than simply looking for flaws or aesthetic signs of perfection. The way it feels, the scent, the shape, and even where you purchase said stone fruits all impact how ripe they are and how sweet they taste. So here's a brief overview of how to become an expert at choosing the perfect peach.

What to look for when choosing a peach

Let's start with a peach's aesthetics. It's crucial to look for a dark yellow color and a nice round shape, as stated by Parlee Farms. A peach doesn't have to be dark pink or red per se — that just means it's been exposed to the sun. And if you see any hues of green, that means the peach is under-ripe. Adventure Kitchen emphasizes the importance of choosing a peach with a sturdy stem, as it helps to repel bugs away and keep the fresh peach juices locked in.

In terms of its texture, a peach shouldn't be too soft or too firm. Rather it should have some "give" to it, according to Parlee Farms. Adventure Kitchen also notes that if you gently press your thumb into a peach, make sure it's at the very top, otherwise known as the "shoulders" surrounding the stem.

Southern Living explains that a peach should also smell sweet, as that is indicative of how it will taste. In other words, a lack of scent means the peach won't have that refreshingly sweet taste we all crave.

So, in short, peach picking isn't rocket science. Anybody can become an expert by using three of their five senses and instincts to pick the best peaches.