A nectarine is a smaller smooth-skinned variety of peach that originated in China. It is not a cross between a peach and a plum. Like peaches, nectarines are available in both freestone and clingstone varieties. Nectarines are bright golden yellow with generous blushes of red with a sweet succulent flesh. Early California nectarines were small, green-skinned and white-fleshed. The size of modern nectarines has increased, and its skin color deepened and changed from a faint blush on a green skin to the current yellow and red colors.
Season: July - October
How to select: Look for fragrant, brightly colored fruit that gives slightly to the touch. Avoid fruit with bruises or blemishes as well as those that are overly hard or green.
How to store: Nectarines, like peaches, are not fully ripe when they arrive in the grocery store, and are usually ready to eat after 2-3 days at room temperature. To speed up ripening, put the fruit in a paper bag to trap the natural gasses. Refrigeration stops the ripening process.
Matches well with: almonds, balsamic vinegar, berries, blackberries, blueberries, caramel, Champagne, cherries, cinnamon, figs, ginger, nuts, orange, peaches, pepper, raspberries, vanilla