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Nectarines are small fruits, averaging 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter, and have a round, oval, to ovate shape with a prominent seam or suture extending from the stem to the base. The fruit’s skin is smooth, taut, glossy, and delicate, bruising easily, and has a golden-yellow base, blushed with hues of ruby, crimson, and orange.

When determining whether nectarines are ripe, look at the fruit’s base coloring. If the base has a green tinge, it has been harvested early and will generally not ripen with a favorable taste. The base coloring should be yellow or contain golden undertones for the best flavor.

Underneath the surface, the golden yellow or white flesh is dense, semi-firm, and aqueous with a succulent nature, encasing a central pit.

There are many nectarine varieties, with some being freestone cultivars, meaning the pit does not adhere to the flesh, while others are clingstone types with the pit tightly connected to the flesh. Nectarines emit a honeyed, sweet, and aromatic scent when ripe and contain a somewhat balanced, sweet, and tangy flavor. Depending on the variety, the fruits may also provide warm spice, nectar, and wine-like nuances.

Store at room temperature until ripe. Then, place in the refrigerator.


Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Nectarine Salsa

Spicy Panzanella Salad

Pork Chops with Nectarine Sauce

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