The first peach of the season is white fleshed and has the sweetest taste. It's followed by yellow and pink -fleshed fruit. The cling peach does exactly that- it clings to its stone- but freestone varieties are now available. Look for undamaged fruit, as the slightest bruising will cause the peach to deteriorate rapidly. The soft, yellow, velvety skin with blushes of red should not be wrinkled and the fruit should be firm, but not hard. They are also available in canned varieties.
Use: If ripe, peaches are best eaten raw or sliced into wine glasses and topped with sparkling wine. Cook peaches in pie shells, use for cobblers, sorbets, preserves and jams. They can be spiced and served as accompaniments to meat and poultry dishes and late season peaches make excellent chutney. Sprinkle sliced fruit with lemon juice to prevent oxidation. If sprinkled with brown sugar, peaches will caramelise under a heated grill and are delicious served with ice cream. Peaches can be peeled, if necessary, by pouring boiling water over them in a bowl and leaving for 30 to 40 seconds.