Fruit – Nectarine or peach? Not so confusing after all.

Two summer fruits that are often confused with each other are peaches and nectarines.

The fact is they’re nearly identical in genetic terms. But they’re really so, so easy to tell apart because nectarine skin is smooth while peaches have a fuzzy coat.

Why are they genetically close but also different? Because peaches originated naturally in Asia and later, when grown in North America, the farmers in 1940s California wanted to breed a stronger variety. The result was the nectarine.

The names ‘white nectarine’ and ‘yellow nectarine’ refers to the colour of the fruit’s flesh, not the outside skin.

Expert tip for lazy cooks: If you want to bake peaches or nectarines, or make jam out of them, go for the nectarine. You can cook sliced nectarines skin and all, but peach skins can get tough and need peeling first. Of course, that shouldn’t put you off if peach jam is especially what you want. But it matters if you want to avoid extra work!