Peach vs. Nectarine: What's the Difference?
Plus, how to pick them at the grocery store.
Are nectarines the same as peaches? As it turns out, there is a difference between the two stone fruits—but it’s a small one.
Peach vs. Nectarine
WATCH: How to Make Blueberry Peach Upside Down Cake
A nectarine is just a peach without the fuzz.
They’re both considered stone fruits, which means they have large, hard seeds in the middle. Though they’re alike in almost every way, a single recessive gene is responsible for the nectarine’s smooth skin, which contrasts with the distinctive fuzzy skin of a peach.
“At first glance, the nectarine (Prunus persica nucipersica) looks like a peach (P. persica) that has lost its fuzz,” according to The New Southern Living Garden Book.” Recent evidence suggests, however, that the nectarine evolved first.”
Both fruits come in golden, red, pink, and peach (duh) hues. They both come in both freestone and clingstone varieties.
Find more peach recipes here.
Are They Interchangeable in Recipes?
So, if they’re so much alike, can you substitute one for the other? It depends.
However, there are a couple things to keep in mind before you make the switch:
- Peach skin is ever-so-slightly thicker than nectarine skin, which makes it a bit more difficult to use unpeeled in cooked desserts.
- Many people believe nectarines are sweeter and more aromatic than peaches. While this may sometimes be the case, the differences in taste will probably not be distinct enough to make an impression on the average fruit eater.
Whether you’re shopping for nectarines or peaches, look for firm, fragrant, bruise-free fruits with vibrant colors.
Read more about nectarines here.