Peaches & Nectarines in May – A Sign of Things to Come
Late April / early May brings the first peaches and nectarines from the new Mediterranean season. Generally, the first on the shelves are from Egypt, followed a week or two later by fruit from southern Spain.
Don’t expect sweet succulence at this stage of the season as these are the earliest varieties that have grown and matured quickly since blossom-time. The Egyptian fruit tends to be a little sweeter as production is further south than Spain, but do expect some tanginess and a lightness to the flavour of these fruit – perfect for those of us who are partial to a little acidity.
Common varieties from Egypt: yellow-fleshed peaches Florida Prince, Tropic Prince and Ruby Crest.
Common early varieties from Spain: yellow-fleshed peaches such as Astoria, and yellow-fleshed nectarines such as Sunect21.
Quality & Buying – Fresh Peaches & Nectarines:
Peaches and nectarines are sold loose, in trays or in punnets. Avoid fruit that have significant green colour to the skin, or obvious signs of bruise.
For the best eating quality, leave the fruit at room temperature to soften. There should be a clear ‘give’ to the fruit to indicate ripeness. Peaches and nectarines can be kept in a refrigerator for a few days to arrest ripening.
Why eat Peaches & Nectarines?
Great flavour from sweet, juicy, succulent flesh. Nothing beats the indulgence of peaches and nectarines at their summer best, but good flavour should still be a feature of early season fruit, though with a good tanginess in the background.
Nutrition (Serving: 1 medium peach = 150g):
- Medium vitamin A: 10% dv (immune system; night vision; healthy skin)
- Medium vitamin C: 17% dv (cell health: skin, blood vessel, bone, cartilage; wound healing)
- Low calories: 3% dv (59kcal/serving or 39 kcal/100g)
- Low Glycaemic Load: 5 (less than 10 = low effect on blood sugars)
- Sugars: peaches are 9% natural sugar (13g/serving), of which 58% is sucrose; 24% glucose and 19% fructose (7g sucrose/serving)
(Daily Value (dv) % of a 2000 kcal per day diet from 1 medium sized peach or nectarine)(Source: USDA SR-21)
When they are good, they are just delicious!