Purchasing a nectarine doesn’t always assure that it will have the same taste as when you first bought it.
And even if you get lucky and find a perfectly ripe one, it might be overripe by the time you get home.
So how can you know when a nectarine is ready to eat?
What is the ideal ripeness for nectarines?
The ideal ripeness for a nectarine depends on what type of nectarine you have.
A yellow-fleshed nectarine like Yellow Transparent should be eaten when it’s still firm but has developed a slight blush (a small pinkish tint) in its skin.
This means it’s just right for eating out of hand or slicing into pieces for snacks.
It’s also perfect for baking because it holds up well under heat.
On the other end of the spectrum, a red-fleshed nectarine like Red Delicious is more flavorful and sweeter than a yellow-fleshed variety.
So it’s better suited for cooking and pie making.
If you want to go with a yellow-fleshed variety, the best way to tell if they’re ripe is to smell them.
They should smell sweet and fragrant.
If they smell sour, they’re not quite ready to eat yet.
But if they smell sweet, then all you need to do is slice open the nectarine and see if the flesh inside feels soft.
How can you tell if a nectarine is ripe?
You can also check the color of the nectarine.
The skin should turn from green to yellow when it’s ripe.
If the nectarine is still green, it’s not likely to ripen.
What happens if you eat a nectarine that is not ripe?
It’s possible to ruin a perfectly good nectarine by letting it get too ripe.
Once the nectarine is ripe, it starts to lose flavor and sweetness.
That means you won’t be able to enjoy the fruit anymore.
And if you let a ripe nectarine sit around for too long, it may start to rot.
How long does it take for a nectarine to ripen?
If you bought a nectarine that was already ripe when you got it, then you can expect it to continue to ripen after you bring it home.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should leave it sitting around until it’s fully rotten.
If you keep it in a cool place, it will stay fresh longer.
Can you speed up the ripening process of a nectarine?
Yes, you can speed up the ripening process of a nectarine.
To do this, put the nectarine in an airtight container, such as a plastic bag, and cover it with a banana leaf.
When you remove the banana leaf, the nectarine should be ready to eat.
What is the best way to store ripe nectarines?
You should store ripe nectarines at room temperature.
They’ll last longer if you refrigerate them, but they won’t last as long as they would if you left them at room temperature.
How long do ripe nectarines last?
According to research done by Purdue University, the average shelf life of a ripe nectarine is about seven days.
However, the shelf life of a ripe nectarine varies depending on how warm the environment is where it’s stored.
In general, a nectarine that’s kept in the refrigerator will last longer than one that’s kept at room temperature.
For example, a nectarine that’s been refrigerated for two weeks will last six to eight weeks while one that’s been at room temperature for four weeks will only last four to five weeks.
What are some recipes that include ripe nectarines?
A lot of people consider nectarines to be a summer fruit.
But they make great additions to just about any recipe, especially ones that call for peaches.
Some examples of recipes that use nectarines include:
Fresh Peach Pie
Strawberry Nectarine Crisp
Cherry Nectarine Cobbler
Raspberry Nectarine Tart
Peach Nectarines with Goat Cheese and Honey
Nectarine Creme Brulee
Nectarine Strawberry Salad
Nectarine Ice Cream
For more information about nectarines, read our article on their history and where they come from.
We also recommend checking out the links below.