Is there any way to tell from the outside of a peach if it's a cling or a freestone variety?
Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.
Not as far as I know, but grocery stores tend to carry freestones, whereas farmers markets will carry both.
While Peter no longer works for Food52 he still thinks up ways to make the website better.
Having purchased 90% of my peaches from the a wide variety of farmers at various NYC Farmer's Markets, I've never once ended up with freestones. Might there be a regional aspect to the answer? Maybe freestone don't grow well in the NYC region but are more popular, say, in Georgia?
From my friend who grows peaches for a living: Unless you know the variety, you cannot just look at a peach and tell for sure if it is freestone. You could make a pretty good guess, but you can't say for sure.
Having been raised on a peach orchard, the earlier varieties that ripen in mid June and July and mid-August are eating peaches, not canning peaches. They are not free stones. The later peaches, which are used for canning are freestones.
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