When asked how we’re doing, we often say ‘peachy’ to show that we’re even better than fine, and that life is as wonderful, juicy, and delicious as a sunny fragrant fruit. What looks tastier than a peach? Here, we’re offering you some ideas on how to make the most of a peach, how to ripen and store it, and how long this delicious goodness can last.
Peaches useful qualities
Several regions in the world are famous for their outstanding peaches. It’s Spain, Italy, some areas of China, and the US. In the US, California, Georgia, and South Carolina are competing to be called the peach capital, and a peach tree in these states grows in the majority of gardens.
This tasty fruit protects our eyesight, makes sure our digestive system works smoothly, helps with weight loss and its maintenance (it gives the feeling of fullness without adding extra calories), boosts the immune system and has an anti-clotting effect, helps our bones stay solid and our teeth healthy.
If you are one of us peach fans, you know that the season of peaches is not too long, and we usually don’t get to enjoy enough of them when it’s over.
So today, let us answer the question: how long do peaches last?
We’ll show you how to recognize ripe peaches, how to store peaches to make them last, and how to see when peaches are spoiled.
Ripe vs. unripe peaches: proper check-up
We all have at least one friend who always knows what fruits to buy. They confidently go to the farmer’s market stall or the fruit section at the supermarket, do some ‘voodoo’ with various fruits, and select the perfect ones.
The worst thing is that they do different kinds of ‘voodoo’ with different fruits.
We can’t help you with all the fruits (at least not today), but we can teach you to recognize a ripe peach.
You need to be careful here. First, you must be careful with the color. Every peach on the shelf will probably have a red side, but that isn’t a sign of ripeness.
Ripe peaches are recognized by the golden glow of the yellow part of the fruit. It shouldn’t be pale or whitish, but deep and rich yellow (that goes for yellow peaches, white peaches should have vibrant, but not pale white color).
The skin around the stems of ripe peaches is wrinkled due to the evaporating moisture. When a peach gets ripe, its skin becomes more porous and starts losing water. That’s when the peach fragrance boosts, and the taste does as well. So, look for the wrinkles.
If you apply mild pressure on the fruit and feel that it’s soft, but not too much, still giving some resistance, it’s ripe enough.
You don’t want either stone fruits or soaking soft ones.
When you are planning to eat these peaches in the next couple of hours, choose peaches with a softer texture. Otherwise, select the pieces with a little firmness still left in them.
A ripe fruit exudes a delicate sweet aroma. It’s not overly strong, but if you bring the fruit to your nose, you’ll feel it. No fragrance at all should alert you. Such a peach could have been picked too early.
Sometimes, we prefer to buy peaches or other fruits a bit unripe and let them ripen at home at room temperature.
Depending on the condition of the purchased peaches, they need 1-3 days to soften, but not longer than 5. A delicious, sweet aroma will be an encouragement to check on your peaches and see if they are ready to eat.
If we want to ripen unripe peaches, we keep them at room temperature and never in the fridge.
They can stay on the counter, or in a brown paper bag, and get ready.
So we got to the question: how long do peaches last? Here we’re assuming that our peaches are ripe, but not overly so.
Out of the fridge
How long do peaches last on the counter?
How long peaches last on the counter will depend on the temperature. If we keep ripe peaches at room temperature, they will last up to 4 days. You can store them in a brown paper bag.
If you cut the peaches, but need them to last a couple of hours without getting dark, sprinkle them with lemon juice, and it will do the job.
Overall, room temperature is not an ideal condition for storing peaches. Their shelf life will be relatively short.
In the fridge
How long do peaches last in the fridge?
If you store peaches in the fridge, you’ll be able to enjoy them for the next 1-2 weeks.
You can see that they get a longer shelf life if stored that way.
We store peaches in a crisper drawer, but you can keep them in plastic bags on the shelf. You don’t need a plastic bag in a drawer.
Don’t store unripe peaches in the fridge. You’ll end up with a fruit that will rot instead of ripen.
Another way to refrigerate peaches is by cutting them into pieces and putting them into an airtight container. That is if you are going to use them in some dish with peach slices or purée. That’s a good way to give the fruit a longer shelf life.
In the freezer
How long do peaches last in the freezer?
If you freeze peaches, they can stay fresh and delicious for up to 6 months or even longer.
How long peaches last in the freezer will depend on whether you freeze them correctly. You need a baking dish for that or some similar flat surface. Cut the peach into pieces of your preference.
We like peach slices the most. Put the slices on the baking sheet covered with parchment paper in a single layer and flash-freeze the peaches for 4 hours. Then you can put them in an airtight container, they won’t stick together.
Freezing peaches has one great advantage. When flash-frozen, peaches retain all the vitamins and microelements the fresh fruit has.
You can also freeze peaches after blanching them. The process resembles peeling the skin from tomatoes when making sauce.
With a sharp knife, make a cross in the stem area of each peach, then put them into the boiling water for up to a minute. Then throw the peaches on ice or into ice water.
This way, you’ll be able to peel the peaches easily. Then freeze whole peaches in a freezer bag.
When the time comes, you can take a frozen peach out of the freezer bag, defrost it, and make a delicious peach cobbler, or even a Bellini cocktail.
The peaches have gone bad if…
Maybe you bought more peaches than you could eat, or you didn’t store peaches properly. How do you recognize that your peaches are inedible?
Sometimes, it’s a thin line that separates a ripe peach from the peach which has gone bad.
Several red flags should alert you, but remember the main rule: if not sure, toss them. It’s always better to be on the safe side.
- Peaches are soggy and too soft to the touch. You’ll feel it. The peach gets too soft and squishy without any pressure put on it. Sometimes it gets ‘sweaty’ with juices. After touching it, your hands may become damp and sticky.
- Peaches start smelling weird. The smell can still be sweet, but with an odd undertone. It can mean that the rotting processes have already begun. The best place for such fruits is in the waste bin.
- There are traces of mold or rot. That’s a no-brainer. Get rid of such peaches.
- The inside or outside colors of the peaches changed. The flesh becomes brownish instead of rich yellow. On the outside, vibrant colors get dull with some odd spots which were not there before. Those are the signs that should be enough to stay away from those peaches.
Frequently asked questions
Do peaches last longer in the fridge or on the counter?
If the peaches are ripe, their shelf life is a maximum of 4 days at room temperature. If they are still unripe, it will take them a couple of days to ripen.
We don’t recommend storing peaches, which are still unripe, in the fridge. They won’t ripen there.
You can also store sliced peaches in the fridge in an airtight bag or container, especially if you are planning to use them that way (for example, to bake a peach pie). That can give them additional shelf life.
How do you know when peaches go bad?
There are certain signs of the peaches going bad. They are excessive softness and sogginess; an atypical smell color of the peel and flesh; mold.
And remember: in case you are not sure if a peach is good, it’s better to be on the safe side and toss it in the waste bin. Food poisoning is not the most enjoyable thing, try to avoid it.
How long are peaches good for in the fridge?
How long do peaches last in the fridge? You can store ripe peaches in the fridge for up to two weeks if you don’t freeze them.
A good way to prolong their shelf life is to slice them, sprinkle them with lemon juice, and keep them in an airtight bag or container. Or keep them whole in the crisper drawer.
How do you store fresh peaches long-term?
The best way to store peaches is to freeze them. A frozen peach retains all the healthy qualities of the fresh one.
To do that, take a baking sheet, cut peaches into slices, and put them on the baking sheet in a single layer. Flash-freeze the peaches for 4 hours, then put the fruit into an airtight bag and store it in the freezer.
So, how long do peaches last?
A short answer: ripe peaches last up to 4 days at room temperature, up to 2 weeks in the fridge, and up to 6 months in the freezer.
How do we enjoy peaches longer?
A condensed version: the shelf life of peaches depends on storing conditions. Freezing prolongs their shelf life substantially. A good way is to keep sliced peaches in an airtight container in the fridge.
In our article, we tried to equip you with various ways to make peaches last and enjoy them in and out of season.