It’s maddening to buy beautiful-looking peaches, only to find they never soften enough to be considered ripe. Peaches should be picked when ripe or on the verge of ripeness; but, for various reasons involving the economics of tranporting soft fruit, supermarket peaches are rarely properly picked. Here are some tips to get ‘em ripe:

When buying peaches, choose ones that have a little “give” at the stem end. Avoid peaches that have any green color. MollyGee says the exception is if the farmer is standing right there and says, “This is an heirloom peach and it will indeed ripen and lose that green color.”

Don’t refrigerate your peaches; leave them out on the counter.

Store hard peaches in a paper bag with an apple (the apple gives off ethylene gas, which will often soften the peach).

If you get peaches that refuse to soften, cook them; grilling works nicely.

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