You know it’s really summer when you bite into a plump, juicy nectarine. Stone fruit is in season, giving you a delicious source of essential vitamins and nutrients to keep you healthy throughout the summer. Learn how to choose the best produce and store it for the most satisfying taste.
How to choose
When you’re browsing for peaches, plums and nectarines, look for fruit with vibrant-coloured flesh without brown spots or bruises. The sweetest nectarines have small white speckles on the top half. Stone fruit that is under-ripe sometimes have green patches, while older fruit may have wrinkly areas. The fruit you should choose will be firm but supple. Give it a gentle squeeze – it should yield a little under your touch.
How to store
Most stone fruit continues to ripen after being picked. Keep stone fruits uncovered at room temperature or on a sunny windowsill for a day or two. You can use a simple test to see if it needs to ripen a little longer: press the top of your finder softly near the stem of the fruit. If it dents easily, it is ripe. Peaches and nectarines also have a sweet, flowery scent when they are ready to be eaten. Once ripe, store in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Stonefruit bruises easily, so minimise handling and avoid stacking fruit more than two deep.
How long to keep
Ripe plums and yellow peaches should last uncovered in the refrigerator for three to five days. Nectarines and white peaches ripen more quickly and should usually only be refrigerated for one day.