Because peaches that look perfectly ripe and flavorful in the supermarket often end up being hard, mealy or tasteless. If your last peach wasn’t memorable (and in a good way), you didn’t get it FARM FRESH.
When a peach has been ripened properly, you are treated to that fresh, mouth-watering aroma from 10 feet away. And the taste...don’t even get us started! It’s a lean-over-the-sink-because-the-sweet-goodness-drips-down-your-chin-and-you-don’t-care kind of fabulous. And it’s why places like CJ Orchards in Rutledge, GA have such a loyal following.
It’s important to pick peaches at the height of ripeness. Although peaches get juicier and softer as they ripen on your counter, they won’t get any sweeter. They only have the amount of sugar it had when it was picked.
Grocery store peaches are picked before they’re ripened, so they are firm enough to hold up during shipping. Depending on the transport time, peaches can be held in cold storage for several weeks. Harvesting too early means that the sugar-rich taste of a ripe peach is never attained, and worse, their extended time in refrigeration causes the fruit to be dry, mealy or hard. The result? A very disappointing taste and texture.
Growing practices have an effect on flavor as well, and it’s quite an extensive labor of love. Too much (or too little) irrigation can result in a bland flavor, as can imbalances with fertilizer and nutrition throughout the life of the tree.