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A nectarine is a fuzzless variety of peach. The word 'nectarine' means sweet as nectar. Nectarines are smaller then peaches with a smooth skin, golden yellow with large blushes of red (ripe fruit looks the same as unripe – the color does not change significantly, but they do get sweeter and softer). Nectarines have a distinct aroma and a more pronounced flavor than a peach. There are over 100 varieties of nectarine, both freestone and clingstone varieties. Freestones flesh  separates from the pit easily, while clingstones cling to the pit. Nectarines are more delicate than peaches, bruising very easily.


When buying nectarines, look for fruit that range in color from greenish yellow to mostly reddish with yellow background. Do not choose the redder ones thinking they are more ripe. Ripe fruit are fragrant and give, slightly, to the touch.   If you're unable to smell the fruit you're considering, it may not be as juicy as you think.  Leave under-ripe nectarines at room temperature for 2-3 days to ripen. Avoid fruit that has soft spots, wrinkled or punctured skin. Store nectarines in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your refrigerator. They will last for about 5 days.


Nectarines can be used in any way you would use peaches.


Nutrition Facts

    *  Nectarines are very low in saturated fat

    *  Contain no cholesterol, or sodium

    *  High in dietary fiber

    *  Nectarines are good sources of niacin and potassium

    *  High in vitamin A and very high in vitamin C