I know you shouldn't refrigerate peaches unless you're desparately trying to save an abundance of ripe peaches -- but how about avoiding buying mealy peaches in the first place?
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The only way to avoid mealy peaches is to buy peaches in season. Otherwise they have been picked before being ripe enough so it is easier to ship. Then they spend too long in refrigeration while being shipped.
HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
This site has the best explanation on why peaches get mealy. The downside is the best way to avoid a mealy peach is to get it in season from a pick-your-own orchard or a store that would provide the shortest transport with the least transfer points from the orchard to your house.
On the East Coast, I wait for peaches in season from New Jersey. (If I waited in Maine for farm stand peaches, I'd be waiting an awfully long time.......). The ones from California that arrive in the East are generally not worth it.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Imho, the best way is to buy the most local peaches you can find. The rest will have been picked green. No way California peaches are picked ripe before being sent to New York or Chicago.
Personally, I only buy peaches at our local Greenmarket. They are the most beautiful, delicious and perfectly ripe peaches around. And I freeze them, sliced and raw for use throughout the winter. Yes, they cost more, but they are SOOOOOOOOOOO much better!
Take 'em back to the store and have chat with the produce manager. Any store worth patronizing will be happy to resolve the situation.
Ask the produce manager if you can have a taste, if the peaches are out of season or come from a long way away. I try to buy local peaches in season, but every so often you can get something really nice from Chile in the winter! Also, sniff the fruit. If it smells very distinctly of ripe peach, the flavor will likely be good.
In this case I find that size does matter(well,in other cases too...but,never mind that).The mealy ones are usually those too big.Look for the the "ssss". Size. Smell. 's it not too hard not too soft? And last but not least:SORTE.(Portuguese for LUCK!).