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What Are Donut Peaches?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
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  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2014
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Donut peaches are uniquely shaped peaches that look remarkably like their namesake because they are somewhat flattened and have a depression in the middle that suggests a donut hole. In addition to having a distinctive appearance, these peaches also have a special flavor, with a sweet tenderness and faint hint of almond that some consumers find enjoyable.

The origins of the donut peach are in Asia, where flat peaches have been cultivated for centuries. In the mid-1800s, several varieties were exported to the United States, and Chinese flat peaches, as they were called, became popular for a brief time. The fruits fell out of fashion, however, and the flat peach was considered an essentially lost heirloom variety until the 1990s, when it began to enter widespread cultivation again.

The skin of donut peaches is creamy yellow with a faint red blush, and the flesh is pure white. Their flavor is less acidic than some peach cultivars, and they also are extremely juicy. They tend to be less fuzzy than some other cultivars, reminding some consumers of nectarines. Peaches and nectarines are actually separate fruits, although they are closely related.

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Some stores market donut peaches as saucer peaches or Saturns — a reference to their unusual shape. These peaches generally are more expensive than traditional peaches because they are sort of a novelty item, but they can be used just like regular peaches in pies and fruit salads in addition to being eaten plain. To select a good donut peach in the market, a consumer should look for a peach that has relatively even coloring and no soft or slimy spots. The peach should yield slightly when squeezed, but it should not be mushy or especially firm.

When handling donut peaches, one should remember that they bruise easily, like all peaches. They can be left out on the counter to ripen if they are not yet perfect. They can be refrigerated for as long as three days after they have become fully ripe. Storing the peaches in a paper bag can help prevent insect infestation and over-ripening.

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anon285194
Post 7

The flatness is very not-subtle. The picture of the fruit broken in half is a good representation. In fact, if you can imagine 'snapping' the peach in half to easily remove the stone, then that's a donut peach.

Anybody have experience with how they freeze? I'm wondering whether I can reasonably freeze these while they are in season, and then eat donut peaches throughout the year? They've worked well after a week of freezing, but they're in season now and I'm thinking of stocking up (we snapped 'em in half, froze the halves, and then stored them in bags - easy as could be).

anon274694
Post 6

Frantic Peace here. I work at a grocery store (produce department) in Canada BC. I've just seen these doughnut peaches for the first time. Pretty sweet.

anon204372
Post 5

Donut peaches are so delicious.

anon104174
Post 4

Donut peaches are delicious! I just found them at at The Hillside Market near Pulaski, NY. They were yellow and flat, and looked very much like a donut!

anon100236
Post 3

This week they are at Costco in Spring valley NY. And they were very reasonably priced.

anon91629
Post 2

A donut peach is delicious and you can find it at any whole foods market.

desertdunes
Post 1

I've never seen these in the market, I did come across a small tree at my local nursery. They wanted $70, it had 1 small peach on it but it didn't look different at all. It was round, not flattened in any way. Are they supposed to look VERY different or is it more of a subtle "flatness" compared to a regular round peach?

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