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While enjoying the juicy and succulent peach, it can be pretty easy to focus on the taste and completely overlook some of the many interesting details about the fruit. However, often when they have not yet had the chance to ripen completely, a bite into peach can taste slightly acidic, leaving people asking themselves the question, “is a peach a citrus fruit?”
Peaches are not part of the citrus fruit family but are a member of the stone fruit family. Even though they may appear similar on the surface, there are quite a few differences between peaches and citrus fruits. In this article, we will examine some of their key distinctions and provide you with other interesting facts.
What Kind of Fruit is a Peach?
Peaches are a common, tasty, and nutritious fruit that is widely available around many parts of the world. Peaches are members of the stone fruit family, which means they have one large pit inside them. There are two main types of peaches: freestone and clingstone. These terms refer to whether the fruit is attached to the stone, like the clingstone, or if it will easily pull away, as the freestone peach does.
Citrus fruits have several stones or seeds inside and can have several in each section of the entire fruit. Peaches will only have one large one. In fact, it can be half the size of the whole peach, if not more. Their skins are different, as well. Citrus has thick, pulpy skins that can be peeled away from the fruit sections inside. Peaches have a very thin fuzzy skin that doesn’t need to be peeled to eat the fruit.
While most people just eat the peach with the skin in, some people object to the fuzzy texture and prefer theirs to be peeled. It needs to be done with some type of utensil, unlike the citrus fruit, where you can just peel them with your hands. Peaches, overall, are much sweeter than most citrus. That is, the main citrus fruit that is regularly consumed in North America. Lemons, limes, grapefruit; however, some oranges are quite sweet.
Health Benefits of Eating Peaches
Peaches are delicious. They are very versatile and portable, which makes them the perfect snack for lunches, breakfast, an energy boost after exercise, and any other time you want a sweet treat. They are not as high in vitamin C content as most citrus fruit, but they still contribute. Vitamin C is proven to be a great antioxidant, which has many benefits all on its own. They do aid in digestion, help fight certain types of cancer, help clear your complexion, and boost your iron and potassium levels. They also help with your fiber intake and in a very tasty way.
Growing Peaches and Citrus Fruits
Peaches and most citrus grow on trees. You can also grow both peaches and citrus from their seeds. With peaches, you should ideally crack open the hard covering and carefully take out the seed inside. However, you may have luck by trying to get the plant to germinate with the hard pit covering in place.
If you live in a climate that is conducive to growing peaches, plant the pits in the fall, so they go through the cold stratification. You may see sprouts the next spring, although it may take longer. It’s a great project to try inside with the kids. Citrus seeds will grow directly taken out of the fruit, so start with that. You will be amazed at how quickly these seeds sprout and grow.
How To Enjoy Your Peaches
Peaches have long been used for consumption in raw form, in baking, in smoothies, with chicken or other main dishes, in sweet and savory favorites, in juices, and so much more. They add a lovely sweetness to everything and work with many different dishes. Peaches are predominantly most popular in the summer months. Buying them off-season might find them woody, green, and hard. Pick them up during the hottest summer months for the best results.
Give the peaches a quick sniff. You should be able to smell their distinctive aroma very easily. Check the lighter colors of the skin, not the darker shades. The lighter areas will tell you if it is ripe, so it shouldn’t be green. They should also be soft to the touch but not mushy. They can get bruised very easily, so if they are coming to you from a long way away, they may be somewhat damaged.
If you are buying a lot, get some that are greener and not ripe, as they can be ripened up at home. That way, they will last you for several days, and you can enjoy them in many different ways. They make a great light snack for those times you are craving something sweet. They pack easily into the kid’s lunches, make a great treat when you take a break from work and are a great addition to any fruit bowl.
Fun Facts About Peaches
Here are a few fun facts you may not have known about peaches:
- You can ripen peaches in a brown paper bag or on the counter
- China is the largest world producer of peaches, with Italy second
- So many peaches are grown in Georgia that it’s called the Peach State
- True wild peaches are only found in China and are a wild fruit that is small, sour, and very fuzzy
- Every year, the United States grows 1.9 billion pounds of peaches
- August is National Peach Month
- Peach trees produce fruit for about 12 years
- Each year, a tree can produce up to 66 pounds of peaches
- Peaches are related to nectarines, the only difference is the fuzz
Peaches are very popular and used in many different ways, from cocktails to cobblers.
Is a Peach a Citrus Fruit?
Despite some of their similarities, no, peaches do not belong to the citrus family. However, they are both delicious, can both be cooked or eaten fresh, contain vitamin C, and grow on trees. Peaches belong to a different family of plants. Their single large pit is different from a citrus fruit that has many seeds in them. Peaches are in the same family as cherries, apples, nectarines, apricots, cherries, and even roses.