|Bader Farms grows 30 different varieties of peaches. The most popular seller is the "--- absolute best peach in the world ---" while "-- best eater--" is the favorite peach to eat fresh. For canning, you'll want the "-- best canners --" but "-- best freezers --" will produce excellent results in making freezer jam and preserves.
Clingstone peaches have flesh that clings to their pits. They are softer, sweeter and juicier than freestone peaches and are the favorite for canning and preserving. Actually, commercially-canned peaches are all clingstones.) They are also great for baking. Bader's grows clingstones during the first weeks of the season.
Freestone peaches' flesh does not stick to the pits so they are the preferred for eating out-of-hand. They also tend to be larger and less juicy than clingstones. But like their clingy version, they bake and preserve well. Most grocery stores only carry the freestone variety.
Semi-freestone peaches are a hybrid of clingstone and freestones. It attempts to combine the easy eating and pitting properties of the freestones with the clingstone's juicy sweetness.
In local taste tests, "XXX" was voted the sweetest, with "XXX" chosen as the firmest and "XX" the juiciest.
The Flavorich variety is a semi-clingstone variety. The Spring Prince and Ruby Prince are freestone peaches.
No matter the variety, all peaches are packed with natural goodness. They're not only delicious, but incredibly nutritious. Several major nutrients, including vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and potassium are packed into each peach. They're also an excellent source of fiber, good for blood sugar and keeping cholesterol low.
And, a real plus for calorie counters, a medium-size peach contains only 38 calories, fewer than comparable-sized apples or pears. In addition to being low-calorie, like all fruits and vegetables, peaches are cholesterol-free. Another plus: peaches are especially filling. Their 87 percent water content makes them a perfect between meal snack. But there's more. Peaches also provide natural plant compounds called flavonoids, which research suggests may help prevent cancer and heart disease.
What to Look For When Choosing Peaches
To ensure you bite into a juicy, sweet peach when you get home, look for these qualities when selecting peaches:
- An even background color of golden yellow for yellow peaches, and creamy yellow for white flesh peaches.
(Note that the red blush characteristic of some peaches does not indicate ripeness.)
- A well-defined crease.
- A slight give to the flesh — neither rock-hard nor mushy.
- Avoid fruit with green around the stem (they aren’t fully ripe) or that have shriveled skin (they’re old).
- Most importantly, find fruit that smells how you hope it will taste.
- Peaches bruise easily, so don’t use your fingertips to check for firmness. Instead, hold the peach in your whole hand.
- One bushel = about 50 pounds of peaches
- One pound = about 4 cups sliced peaches
- One bushel = about 12 quarts of canned peaches
- One pound = 3 medium or 2 large peaches
- About 10 peaches will make a 9-inch pie
- One peck = one-quarter of a bushel