You probably read this headline and are feeling pretty sure you know the answer to the titular question. It’s fuzz, right? That’s the difference. Well, essentially yes. Peaches are just furry, unshaven versions of nectarines. But these two summery fruits actually share a gene variant which accounts for why they’re so similar (as well as that one major difference). Let’s get down to the science behind it.
As we’ve already established, peaches have a soft, fuzzy coating on their exterior. This is the result of a dominant allele (a variant form of a gene). Nectarines have a recessive variation and, thus, have smooth skin. They also tend to be firmer and smaller in size.
Otherwise the two fruits share similar characteristics. They both come in yellow and white varieties and can be either freestone (meaning the the pit easily comes free from the fruits’ flesh) or clingstone (meaning the pit sticks tightly to it). In terms of cooking, peaches and nectarines arwe nearly interchangeable, given their juicy, sweet flavors. Just be sure to peel the peaches. No one wants fuzz in their pie, after all!
If you’re looking to use these stone fruits in desserts, check out the below recipes for ample inspiration for all your pie, crisp, and cobbler needs. And some even go beyond those uses too. Try making them all before peach season is over!
Easy Peach Cobbler
This recipe is so simple, even the most amateur baker can master it. Top the flaky pastry with some vanilla ice cream for a complete dessert experience that’s out of this world. Get our Easy Peach Cobbler recipe.
Grilled Nectarine Crumble
Pecans and brown sugar give this crumble a nutty edge—one that will have you constantly asking for seconds. Get our Nectarine Crumble recipe.
Peach Pie with Pecan Streusel
Again with the pecans! I guess there’s no better nut to complement the pride of Georgia. Try making this one for Thanksgiving to give the holiday a well-needed hint of summer. Get our Peach Pie with Pecan Streusel recipe.
Nectarines Baked with Pistachios and Fresh Ginger
If you want to get the most out of your nectarines this summer, try baking them whole with this impressive recipe, which stuffs the fruits with pistachios, ginger and buttery white wine sauce. It’s a more sophisticated dessert that’s still perfect for picnic weather. Get our Nectarines Baked with Pistachios and Fresh Ginger recipe.
Chipotle-Nectarine Barbecue Sauce
Not even barbecued chicken is immune to the charms of stone fruit. Try sweetening up your grill game with this homemade barbecue sauce which pairs nectarines with chipotle for a balancing act of smoky and sweet. Get our Chipotle-Nectarine Barbecue Sauce recipe.
Peach Frozen Yogurt
If you’re sick of baked goods featuring peaches, than this recipe is for you. Try making your very own soft serve for a chiller approach to summer’s best fruit. Get our Peach Frozen Yogurt recipe.
Related Video: Peach Desserts to Make Before It’s Too Late
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.