stone fruit are any fruits with a pit: cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums etc.
- Firm, tight skin. The looser the skin the longer they have been off the tree
- All fruit should smell strongly of that fruit. If it doesn’t is most likely very under-ripe.
- Fruit should feel heavy in your hand.
- Ask your farmer how ripe the fruit is. One day, at market, I was approached by 2 customers both dissatisfied with the ripeness of our peaches. For one, the fruit couldn’t be eaten on that night’s picnic; the other, so ripe they wouldn’t last the week. In short, we can’t please everyone so ask how ripe they pick their fruit and buy accordingly.
- Please do not squeeze fruit (or tomatoes) it bruises them and is not fair if you don’t buy them.
- If under-ripe, store in a paper bag on the counter to ripen more quickly.
- I generally never store in the fridge because it kills the delicate flavors. If you do put in the fridge, just be sure to bring the fruit back to room temperature (or slightly warmed in the sun) before eating.
- Freestone peaches and nectarines generally come on later in the season. Ask your farmer which they are, if being freestone is important to you.
- Fruit seconds are a great place to save money and to save our food from the landfill. Buy less than perfect fruit for all your jam or roasted fruit compote. If you are using perfect fruit for such things, you’re missing an opportunity to impact our food system.