Nectarines, or ‘nectar of the Gods’, are a variety of peach with a smooth yellow, orange or red skin and either white or yellow juicy flesh. Originating in China some 4000 years ago, nectarines can either be eaten firm and crunchy or allowed to ripen to become soft, juicy and lower in acid.
Yellow nectarines will reveal superior eating qualities when they yield slightly to gentle palm pressure and can taste both sweet and tart, while their white counterparts are sweet when they are still firm and crunchy. Both types will express more juice as the fruit softens.
For most cultivars, white speckles around the tip of the fruit is the best indicator of fruit sweetness.
Sliced nectarines are a perfect addition to salads or cheese and fruit platters.
Australian nectarines are available between October and April.