Peaches and apricots are soft, summery fruits that are fragrant and fun to eat. Both are stone fruits that ripen in the summer and it can sometimes be confusing to tell the two apart in the produce section, especially since apricots look like baby peaches!
While they may both be part of the genus Prunus, have pits, and both taste delicious grilled or tossed in a salad, these two stone fruits couldn't be more different.
What is a Peach?
Peaches, or Prunus persica, are known for their layer of soft fuzz, sweet flavor, juiciness and bright color. Their season is May through September in the United states, with peak harvest in July and August, depending on where you live. Peaches either have a yellow or white flesh, are usually around 4-7 oz in weight and contain a single pit, which depending on the type of peach, can either be removed easily or with brute strength and a tool. The distinct types of cultivated peaches include clingstone (the pit sticks to the fruit), freestone (the pit removes easily), and semifree, which is a combination of the two.
When ripe, peaches are sweet and sometimes so juicy, you need to eat them directly over the kitchen sink. If slurping peach juice from your chin isn't your thing, try pickling them using our Pickled Peach recipe and serve on a crisp cracker loaded with whipped goat cheese.
What is an Apricot?
The apricot, Prunus armeniaca, is native to Asia and grows abundantly on small trees. A quarter of the size of a peach, apricots are beloved for their tart flavor, which sets them apart from other types of stone fruit. Tinted yellow to orange, apricots have a smooth exterior with a single pit in the center. Because of their texture and tartness, apricots are easily dried and used in baking or as snacks.
When it comes to serving them, try adding dried apricots to your favorite granola bar recipe to add a punch of tartness and flavor a raisin can't provide.
In the apricot versus peach conversation, we've established that both peaches and apricots are delectable and versatile, but they have as many differences as similarities. For one, apricots have a strong, tangy, tart taste where peaches have a sweet one. Along with this, peaches have more water, making them the juicier option of the two. While the two may be different, they are still interchangeable in recipes, so no matter which one you pick up at the store, you can't go wrong.
READ MORE: Georgia Peaches May Be Gone Forever in Less Than 80 Years
This article was originally published April 21, 2021.