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Closely related to a peach, a nectarine is an aromatic, summer stonefruit. Nectarines have smooth skin, firm textured flesh with deep, bright red markings on its orange-yellow skin and a sweet-tart flavor that is subtly different than a peach. There are more than 100 varieties of nectarine, in freestone and clingstone varieties. In freestone types the flesh separates from the pit easily, while clingstone types cling to the pit. Nectarines are more delicate than peaches, bruise very easily and can have red, yellow, or white flesh.


Nectarines can be frozen into ice creams, baked into pies, tarts, and cobblers, cooked down for jam and compotes and used raw in salads and fruit plates.


Named after the nectar consumed by the Olympian gods, nectarines, like peaches, most likely originated in China more than 2,000 years ago and were cultivated in ancient Persia, Greece and Rome. They were grown in Great Britain in the late 16th or early 17th centuries, and were introduced to America by Spanish Missionaries. Today, California is responsible for nearly all the commercial production of nectarines in the U.S.

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