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Magix
07-26-2004, 09:20 AM
This should be a simple question, especially for folks from Georgia!

Why do my peaches always seem so mealy? I buy them fresh from the supermarket. They are usually still a little hard so I leave them out on my countertop for a few days until they're softer. They smell so wonderful, but when I do finally eat them they're mealy inside.

Should I be refrigerating them instead of leaving them out? Is it possible they're just over-ripe?

All help appreciated!

swquilts
07-26-2004, 09:36 AM
By mealy do you mean squishy or grainy? Peaches ripen very quickly so I wouldn't leave them out for more than 2 days. They should just give when you squeeze them.

Mimeea, if you are around, can you help? :)

blazedog
07-26-2004, 09:59 AM
They were just bad peaches to begin with in my experience. I don't know why:) I bought a small batch last week and they were mealy and fairly tasteless. Peaches bought at other stands at the Farmers Market all were delicious and ripened without any problems.

I try to buy my produce either at the Farmer's Market or at the really good stores in my area (Los Angeles) -- i.e. Bristol Farm or Gelsons. The produce at Ralphs verges on inedible and Pavillions is just marginally better.

With respect to ripening, I have my best luck by putting stone fruits (peaches i.e.) in brown paper bags. Make sure there is absolutely no moisture or they will grow moldy as well as ripe.

When I buy good peaches to start, I have equal success with both the ripe and ripen at home stages as I try to stagger the ripeness level so I will have fresh fruit throughout the week.

Beth
07-26-2004, 10:00 AM
They also ripen better if put ion a brown paper bag. I put a paper towel folded in half in the bottom, then the peaches and close them up. Check at least once a day -- usually ripen in one or two days -- three at the most. Check at least once a day because any bad spots can quickly spread and get mushy/fuzzy.

laurachoc
07-26-2004, 10:12 AM
We grow peaches for a living, so I should know the answer to this question. When farmers provide for super markets they pick the peaches really green. We pick our peaches so that they are a little soft to the touch. It makes a big difference to pick the peaches when they are ripe than to pick them when they are green. My husband says that the last couple days before the peach ripens are very important because it will get sweeter and bigger. This is why the peaches that you buy right from the farmer are almost always better. Ripening peaches that were picked green will give you that mealy, nasty texture and bad flavor.

As for ripening...we tell our customers to leave the peaches out (in a paper bag or not, I don't have a preference) until they get ripe and then put them in the refrigerator when they are at their desired ripeness. Some customers like to put them right into the refrigerator and then take them out a day or two before so that they can ripen.

I hope this helps.

Laura

Grace
07-26-2004, 10:19 AM
Of course, Laura is right. Grocery store peaches are picked waaayyy too soon, and are grown for appearance and transportablity, not flavor. I don't really bother with grocery store peaches - I prefer to get them from the farmer's markets.

Hope you can find some good ones in your area! They're heavenly when they're truly perfect! :D

eas11
07-26-2004, 10:29 AM
Another grower on the board is Megan (Mimmea) and I'm sure she'll pop in here as well. I know she said the same thing as Laura about when peaches are picked for the market. Guess we'll all have to find a farmers market if we really want great peaches! Actually, we know that's the truth with most produce, right :D

LonghornGal
07-26-2004, 10:36 AM
Ah! This explains why everyone goes wild for the "local" peaches.

I will say that the produce guys in my store are always happy to cut open a sample for you to taste on the spot. Additionally, they post the source of the peaches (CA, GA, TX) so that you can get an idea on the freshness.

Has anyone tried the "donut" or "Saturn" peaches? They're so funny looking! But my favorite this season are the white flesh peaches. So yummy and sweet!

--Kristin

Magix
07-26-2004, 10:40 AM
I think I'd meant to include the possibility of "bad peaches" in my original post, but the peaches always look so nice and smell so great, I was more inclined to blame myself first. :(

I'm not sure where to purchase "good" peaches, except in New Jersey on the way to the Jersey shore (a memory from my childhood :). Now THOSE were some good peaches. :)

I'm encouraged to see where laurachoc is from though, and to know that that's not too far away from where I am.

And to answer swquilts, by "mealy" I meant more grainy and tasteless.

Based on the info. you've all provided, I think the picking of the peaches way too early is to blame. Hopefully I can find a good farmer's market for my purchases. I'd all but given up on eating good peaches!

Thanks!

tbb113
07-26-2004, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by LonghornGal

Has anyone tried the "donut" or "Saturn" peaches? They're so funny looking! But my favorite this season are the white flesh peaches. So yummy and sweet!

--Kristin

I've bought them in the past and they are okay. I was hoping that my kids would like them since they seemed to be the perfect size, but I can't convince my kids to like stone fruit :rolleyes:

and this thread must be contagious...I just had a very yucky, mealy peach from my produce delivery this week :( Usually they are good...but not this one.

Gilgamesh37
07-26-2004, 11:53 AM
Is anybody else hearing the Seinfeld episode on their head right now?

"I want to return this peach. This peach is sub-par!"
"It's fruit! There's no guarantee with fruit! You got a complaint?--take it up with God!"

Magix
07-26-2004, 12:30 PM
Do you know what I love about the donut peaches? You don't get all messy eating them! You can just bite off a section of the "ring" without having juice running all over the place. :)

Mimeea
08-02-2004, 08:53 PM
I know I'm coming to this thread a bit late, but by request I'm here. :)

We take a sizeable amount of our fruit to farmer's market, the other portion gets sent to a cold storage where it is packed and distributed. So if you ever are at the grocery store and see Fruit Patch stone fruit or the little sticker might say "Ripe-n-Ready", that could be from my farm. :cool:

The fruit we reserve for farmer's market is always let ripen about an extra week on the tree than the distributed kind It also goes through a stricter selection process and is hand-packed into individual panatrays to make sure the fruit doesn't bruise since it is so ripe; we then take it to farmer's market the same day it is picked . Unfortunately this isn't possible with the mass-produced fruit you see in the store, since a lot of it travels so far, and the consumer demand is that is stays ripe for a longer period it must stay firm throughout shipment.

The market demand this year for the shipped fruit is that size matters. Consumers will pay more for it, so it also means the fruit must ripen on the tree longer, making it more fragile, but coming to you better.

Store bought fruit is also sent through a refrigeration process which helps the fruit stay fresh longer, but also changes the texture and the taste of the fruit, which is why the fruit becomes mealy. After refrigeration fruit stops ripening. On the other hand farmer's market fruit is never refrigerated, therefore very perishable, and utterly delicious!

So... buy fresh fruit from farmer's market for the best quality and best taste! If any of you ever venture to CA, you can visit us at the Pleasanton and Danville markets in the bay area or at Monterey. Or even venture into the central valley and visit our farm which is near Fresno, which is the US's largest peach producer.

I hope that clears up some confusion. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask me.