There are so many reasons to love summer. What I look forward to the most about summer, however, is summer fruit.
I know it’s summer when I see peach stands along the highways and at farmer’s markets. There’s nothing like biting through the velvety fuzz of peach skin to get a mouth full of juicy, flavorful pulp that inevitably runs down your chin.
While you might think that there are only white and yellow peaches, there are dozens of varieties to try.
Types of Peaches
Read on to discover all the different types of peaches, their textures, tastes, and uses.
Babcock peaches are the white-fleshed peaches you see at any grocery store around North America.
They’re large, perfectly round, with fuzzy deep pink skin and white flesh.
They are some of the sweetest types of peaches with very low acidity. Thus, the basis of their ubiquity in markets and food stands.
Originating in China over 600 years ago, Peento peaches are the flat, tire-shaped peaches that the Chinese deem “coiled peaches.”
They soon became a hot commodity in European markets around the 16th century.
They’re as juicy and sweet as a Babcock peach, with a slight almond aftertaste.
Doughnut peaches are another term for Peento peaches.
They have off-white flesh and pink skin with yellow blotches. Their flat doughnut shape is fun to eat and visually appealing as well.
I see them stacked into cone structures at my local farmer’s market, and it looks like a Christmas display in the middle of July.
Cresthaven peaches are the yellow counterparts of the popular white Babcock peaches.
There’s always a debate about whether white or yellow-fleshed peaches are better.
If you like a bit of tanginess, then yellow-fleshed Cresthaven peaches are a better choice.
I love cutting them in half to reveal their vibrant yellow flesh with a beautiful red halo surrounding the dark brown pit.
If you can’t decide between yellow and white, Freestone Peaches come in both varieties, and it’s often a surprise to see which ones you get.
The significant advantage of Freestone peaches is that their pits practically fall out of the flesh when you cut them in half.
White Health Cling Peaches
At first glance, White Health Cling Peaches may appear underripe.
They have white or slightly green-tinted skin with blotches of pink. They have white to very light-yellow flesh that matches their skin.
I enjoy this delightfully sweet peach for canning purposes, although it tastes lovely raw.
Named for the late-October period that marks their maturity, Halloween peaches are golden yellow with spots of orangey-pink ceding to a yummy flesh that ranges from golden to an almost brown color.
While we can often get peaches year-round, importing from other countries, Halloween peaches will be fresh and local well into the fall.
Madison is a variety of Freestone peach that is characteristically firm yet still juicy.
Like a Freestone, Madison peaches have yellow flesh. However, their skin is a bit more vibrant, with deep red, pink, and orange tones.
Their firm texture makes them a great candidate for baking. I love using them in a peach and walnut cobbler.
Snow Beauty Peaches
You’ll certainly get more bang for your buck with this giant variety.
Snow Beauty Peaches have light pink skin and white flesh, almost like apple flesh.
They are about one and a half times the size of a regular Babcock peach but just as sweet!
You’ll find Snow Beauty peaches during July. I recommend eating them raw as they’re consistently the taste-test winners at any orchard or farmer’s market.
Originating in Iowa, Polly peaches are meant to withstand the harsh winters of the Midwest.
They’re as juicy and sweet as they come and a nice medium size for snacking.
If you live in a cold region, you can count on Polly peach trees to make it through the winter and bear delicious fruit by mid-summer.
If you’re not a fan of the fuzzy texture of peach skin, then nectarines are surely your favorite type of peach.
They come in yellow and white varieties with the same glossy smooth skin you encounter on a plum.
Nectarines are my personal favorite for snacking because I think they’re sweeter than their fuzzy-skinned counterparts. They’re also slightly smaller.
These yellow-fleshed peaches are nearly identical to Freestone peaches.
I’ve found many forums about how to tell the difference between the two.
While both have a nice zingy acidity to their sweet taste, the main difference lies in the ease with which you can separate the pit from the flesh.
Early Amber Peaches
These peaches are a popular mild-climate variety known for their early maturity and golden color.
They thrive in California, and you’ll see them abundance at California farmers’ markets from May through June.
Peaches are dessert fruits in and of themselves, but this variety has inspired a dessert by the same name.
Melba peaches are large, white-fleshed peaches with yellow skin.
They’re sweet and juicy, but if you’re buying melba peaches, you’re probably planning to make Peach Melba, a poached pear dessert served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Tropic Snow Peaches
Seemingly conflicting names, Tropic Snow peaches are named for their early harvest period.
Summer comes early with these peaches! They have an heirloom shape, meaning they are uneven and asymmetrical.
In my opinion, this adds character to these white-fleshed peaches.
They’re sweet, juicy, and a much-welcomed surprise after months of apples and oranges!
El Dorado Peaches
Meaning “gold” in Spanish, El Dorado peaches live up to their name, with golden and reddish skin and yellow flesh.
You might think this variety is huge if you ever see El Dorado orchards.
However, this would be an optical illusion as they are simply medium-sized peaches growing on dwarf trees that are no bigger than bushes.
Melting Flesh Peaches
While the name may be off-putting and reminiscent of some gory 1970s horror film, Melting Flesh Peaches are well worth eating.
True to their name, melting flesh peaches fall apart the minute you bite into them, making for a joyously messy snack.
I like to slice them over a bowl to avoid dropping a pulpy mess on my shirt. They are the juiciest and softest variety, tasting incredible over plain yogurt with granola.
Originating in, you guessed it, Ventura, California, Ventura Peaches are a warm weather variety that you won’t see outside of the West coast.
They’re easy to distinguish from most of the peaches on my list, both in shape and flavor.
They have an elongated oval shape and mush tarter flesh than most peach varieties.
This delicious type of peach hails from the Atlantic coast.
Reliance Peaches are a New England variety that assumes the colors of their beautiful fall leaves.
They have dark red and gold skin with deep yellow flesh.
These hardy peach trees will withstand the coldest East coast winters to deliver pleasantly sweet and subtly tart fruits when summer rolls around.
This peach variety has skin as red as its namesake bird. Cardinal peaches could be mistaken for apples.
They’re nice and round with firm yellow flesh. They have a mild sweetness that may be a little underwhelming, so I think they’re great for making compotes or preserves.
Named for the same historical 19th-century gold rush as the San Francisco football team, Forty-Niner peaches are a native California variety.
They’re giant, yellow-skinned, and yellow-fleshed peaches that are characteristically soft.
They’re not the sweetest variety, but their size and juiciness would make a tremendous fresh-pressed juice with a bit of honey or agave.
August Pride Peaches
I took this name to mean that these peaches are the proud harvest of the final summer month.
However, pride refers to a peach tree known for its adaptability to weather conditions and space constraints.
Therefore, this yellow variety from California would be a great option for your home garden.
Yellow Flesh Peaches
I don’t have to tell you what color these peaches are! Yellow flesh peaches are one of the most widely available varieties.
You can get them year-round, and their cheerful yellow flesh is as sweet in winter as in summer.
The pit comes right out of them when you cut them in half, making for an easy snacking fruit.
I’ve mentioned freestone peaches insofar as they differ from clingstone peaches as having an easily removable pit that falls out clean.
Clingstone peaches’ flesh doesn’t separate so easily from the pit, but they are considerably sweeter.
Semi-freestone peaches are the best of both worlds. They have the sweetness of clingstones and the easily removable pits of freestones.
Red Haven Peaches
A popular home garden variety, red haven peaches are yellow-fleshed peaches with smooth skin like a nectarine.
They are even better than nectarines because they have an almost creamy flesh. They are also perfectly sweet.
I like to take advantage of the creaminess by freezing the flesh and blending it with water for a creamy dairy-free sorbet.
Honey Babe Peaches
Aptly named for their exceedingly sweet flavor and miniature size, honey babe peaches are small, yellow-fleshed peaches devoid of acidity.
They’re as cute and sweet as their name and a perfect snack for the little ones.
They are as sweet as candy without all the harmful chemicals. These are the ultimate midsummer treat.
As the first frosts begin to signal the transition of fall to winter, this peach variety is in its prime.
Frost peach trees may be late bloomers, but that just means that you can enjoy fresh peaches during the winter.
Their uniformly dark pink skin and light yellow flesh are extra tangy.
Rio Grande Peaches
While the name might make you think these peaches hail from Texas, they’re native to Florida.
They are a freestone variety, so they’re easily pitted. Their dull red skin may not be much to look at, but their bright yellow flesh is a pleasant surprise with a silky texture and well-balanced tart sweetness.
Baby Crawford Peaches
Another variety known for its small size, these peaches stand out for more than their size.
They have bright yellowish-orange skin. I always mistake them for fresh apricots.
Even their flesh looks like an apricot, with a deep golden shine.
They have a sweet peachy taste that leads me to believe that the smaller the fruit, the more concentrated the sweetness.
White Flesh Peaches
White flesh peaches are a blanket term under which many of the varieties mentioned in my list fall.
They have white innards and bright pink and white skin.
If you’re deciding between white and yellow for snacking, I’d go with the white peaches, as they are generally sweeter and softer than their yellow counterparts.
Arctic Supreme Peaches
A clingstone variety, Arctic Supreme peaches are as white as snow with deep reddish-pink staining around the pit.
They are a large variety that may not be easy to separate from the pit, but the soft, melt-in-your-mouth skin and flesh more than compensate.
When you think of Georgia peaches, you probably think of Elberta peaches.
They are the quintessential yellow-fleshed, sweet peach grown in Georgia. Southern sweet tea often uses Elberta peach juice as a flavoring agent.
Elberta Peaches live up to the “Georgia peach” reputation, with wonderfully rich and sweet yellow flesh.
They’re also a ubiquitous variety you can find in most grocery stores during the summer.
Freestone Varietal Peaches
Freestone Varietal Peaches are a family of peaches under which many varieties fall.
They are yellow-fleshed peaches with high acidity and firmer flesh than white clingstones.
A few Freestone varietal peaches include Glohaven and Golden Jubilee.
Their large size, firm texture, and drier flesh make them the best candidates for canning.
Southern Sweet Peaches
I was sure this variety would hail from Georgia, but it’s another California-grown peach.
Southern Sweet peaches are medium-sized, perfectly round red skinned peaches with yellow flesh.
They are delicious snacking peaches and resemble red delicious apples.
They’re available mid-summer and look wonderful on display in a wooden fruit bowl.
A large freestone variety, Fairhaven peaches have deep golden flesh with a wider red ring closer to the pit.
They are firm to the touch, but they are surprisingly delicate when you bite into them.
The firmness signals an excellent resistance to browning, making Fairhaven peaches the favorite canning or freezing variety.
Types of Peaches
- Babcock Peaches
- Peento Peaches
- Doughnut Peaches
- Cresthaven Peaches
- Freestone Peaches
- White Health Cling Peaches
- Halloween Peaches
- Madison Peaches
- Snow Beauty Peaches
- Polly Peaches
- Clingstone Peaches
- Early Amber Peaches
- Melba Peaches
- Tropic Snow Peaches
- El Dorado Peaches
- Melting Flesh Peaches
- Ventura Peaches
- Reliance Peaches
- Cardinal Peaches
- Forty-Niner Peaches
- August Pride Peaches
- Yellow Flesh Peaches
- Semi-Freestone Peaches
- Red Haven Peaches
- Honey Babe Peaches
- Frost Peaches
- Rio Grande Peaches
- Baby Crawford Peaches
- White Flesh Peaches
- Arctic Supreme Peaches
- Elberta Peaches
- Freestone Varietal Peaches
- Southern Sweet Peaches
- Fairhaven Peaches
Peaches are a bright and cheerful summer fruit that comes in a wealth of varieties.
Whether you’re on the west coast or the east coast, every region has its special type.
My long list of different types of peaches has a sweet white or yellow-fleshed fruit to enjoy no matter where you are and even during the fall and winter.
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