"Where's Your Coat, Child?"

Share this post

The parenting adage goes, “Put on a sweater, your mother is cold,” but we needn’t worry about the health of a nectarine, which is indeed a sweater-less peach. Peaches’ fuzzy coats help protect them because pests don’t care for their texture, but nectarines get extra mothering. Nectarines thrive with the special care that many orchardists employ. Farmers such as California’s Ed Magee use precise irrigation, owl pest control, and special pruning techniques to get the prettiest and sweetest-tasting of this scantily clad fruit.

The name “nectarine” means “like nectar,” and varieties come in a cavalcade of fancy names evoking fire and jewels, such as Diamond Bright, Diamond Pearl, Crimson, Goldmine, Ruby Grand, Flame Kist, and August Flare. The names with Ice, Snow, or Stars usually belong to the white-fleshed varieties, such as the Snow Queen and Arctic Star. Just like their sister peaches, nectarines can come in freestone (the flesh is free from the pit), clingstone (the flesh is woven into the pit), and semi-cling versions. They also come in the squashed-looking “donut” varieties.

Nectanectarinesrines are not genetically modified to be fuzz-less—they’re as ancient as peaches, their histories intertwined. The nectarine is just one gene different from a peach. In fact, sometimes peach trees will produce a nectarine or vice versa. They were described in ancient texts, but true cultivation wasn’t chronicled until the 17th century in England. They were first grown in the U.S. in the 18th century and thrive in less humid climes like California.

Nectarines bring a full palette of flavor undertones, from cinnamon to citrus to pineapple. The most significant aspect is their sweetness, which is affected by the level of acid in the fruit. “Sub-acid” nectarines and peaches taste sweeter because they have less acid. Nectarines are a low-calorie food (about 50 calories per piece) and are chock full of vitamins C and A (20% of your RDA)—which is bound to make any mom happy.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

 

Recent Food articles:

Thirteen ways of looking at a strawberry
April 15, 2016
Three fresh salads with spring ingredients
March 29, 2016
The history and health benefits of avocado
March 24, 2016
Warming soups packed with nutrition to power you through to spring
February 24, 2016
February 12, 2016
Ancient grains: the hype and the health
January 26, 2016
Three lunch options packed with fiber, veggies, and protein
January 25, 2016
’Tis the season to enjoy a bowl of chili
December 16, 2015
November 15, 2015

More recent articles:

Five tips for spring-cleaning the office
April 26, 2016
Five steps to getting your bike ready for spring
April 26, 2016
Get strong and healthy in the weight room
April 19, 2016
Meet The FruitGuys Community Fund’s class of 2016
April 14, 2016
Your donation will fund a small farm’s sustainability project
March 24, 2016
Food logging can help you lose or maintain your weight
March 23, 2016

About Us

The FruitGuys Magazine is your source for workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. Previously known as The FruitGuys Almanac, the Magazine began in 2007. Editors and contributors include nationally known journalists and food writers. Submissions and suggestions can be sent to the editor.