Why do peaches and nectarines get floury?

How to store nectarines and peaches so they don't turn out floury extra crispy - extra crispy - 2021

Stone fruits such as peaches and nectarines are seasonal fruits with a short growing season and an even shorter shelf life. This is why it is so important to learn how to properly store nectarines and other stone fruits. Once you figure out how to properly store nectarines and peaches, you can decide whether to bite into something floury and grainy or enjoy a delicious piece of fruit. The trick to properly storing fresh stone fruits is to make sure they don't get too cold before they are fully ripe. This is because it is grainy to expose these fruits to the cold as a preventive measure.

As Harold McGee writes in On Food and Cooking, peaches and nectarines tend to "become floury or break down" when stored for long periods, and this is part of why they are more seasonal. You simply cannot store peaches and pears in the refrigerator for long without losing quality. However, apples can be stored refrigerated for up to a year without any significant problems. So if you can get a floury peach or floury nectarine from the grocery store, the reason is likely because it was stored at too low a temperature, below 45 ° F, according to McGee.

This is why you shouldn't store nectarines or peaches in the refrigerator until they are fully ripe. And you will know when a peach or nectarine is fully ripe thanks to the fragrant smell and feel of the flesh. It's soft but firm and gives a little when you squeeze it lightly.

If you've ingested an unripe nectarine or peach, store it on your counter at room temperature, ideally out of sunlight. This is a process that usually takes a day or two. If you want to eat an unripe peach sooner, you can put it in a paper bag for a while. This speeds up the process by trapping ethylene, the plant hormone that causes ripening.

You should therefore only store stone fruits in the refrigerator when they are fully ripe, otherwise you will get floury fruits. And even if you have fresh, ripe nectarines and peaches in the refrigerator, you can only add a day or two to their shelf life. As with most fresh fruit, the best way to store peaches and nectarines is to eat and use them as soon as they are ripe.