What Wrinkles On A Peach Mean

Given that peach season is so bountiful, we should familiarize ourselves with all the tips and tricks for selecting the ripest, juiciest peaches. In general, we've been taught to avoid fruit that's blemished, bruised, or pierced. But are wrinkles something to worry about, or can they actually be the secret to choosing the perfect peach? 

We shop with our eyes, and supermarkets know of this. That means that most of the produce on display tends to adhere to guidelines that ensure uniformity in color, shape, size, and texture, notes Grocery Dive. However, our interest in aesthetics, which may have been an evolutionary adaptation for safety, has led to massive amounts of waste.

Forbes reports that households in the U.S. throw away roughly one-third of the food they buy annually. Of that, the Natural Resources Defense Council states that approximately two-thirds of the wasted food is actually edible. This poses the question of whether or not we are aware of the warning signs of spoilage. Although indications of expiration may vary, when it comes to the wrinkled peach, you might want to think twice before trashing it.

Wrinkled is ripe

A sweet-smelling peach is always a great indicator of quality, but appearance is really what you should be inspecting. Peaches should be a mix of dark yellow and orange and blemish-free; however, wrinkles are not a bad sign. In fact, Lane Southern Orchard claims peach skins that have started to wrinkle around the stem indicate that the flavors will be strong and sweet because the water has started to evaporate.

Since peaches continue ripening long after being picked, the fruit will only stay fresh for up to a week when refrigerated. However, this timeframe shrinks in the case of an already wrinkled peach. Wrinkling, as stated by the BBC, is a sign that the fruit is super soft and very ripe, but also that it's started its journey to spoilage. Best eaten sooner rather than later, but a wrinkly peach is perfectly safe to eat as long as it hasn't turned moldy.

If wrinkled peaches are a bit too juicy for your liking, repurpose them. You can use ultra ripe peaches to make jams, chutneys, ice cream, and cobblers. You can even freeze chunks of peach to use for smoothies!