From white, yellow, flat, and round, peaches come in many different forms. While there are hundreds of peach varieties, there are only three main categories that each peach can be placed in. Each of these categories is related to how easily the peach flesh can be removed from the pit and are:
1. Clingstone: This category aptly describes peaches in which the flesh clings steadfastly to the pit and is difficult to remove. Typically, peaches in this category have yellow flesh with bright red areas closer to the pit. Clingstone peaches have a soft texture and are very juicy and sweet; making them a perfect choice for desserts and jellies.
2. Freestone: As its name alludes to, peaches in this category have flesh that is easily removed from the pit. Thanks to that characteristic, peaches in this category are usually the most common type found at local markets and grocery stores as they are best when eaten fresh. Typically, freestone peaches are larger than clingstone, have a firmer texture, and tend to be slightly less sweet than their clingstone cousins.
3. Semi-freestone: This newer hybrid variety is less well known than its more common relatives and combines the sweetness of a clingstone with the easy to eat nature of the freestone. While more difficult to find, semi-freestone peaches are good both fresh and canned.
Depending on your personal tastes preferences and cooking needs, one of these three varieties may be more suitable than another. For those interesting in strictly canning peaches or making sweet desserts, clingstone peaches are probably the way to go. Freestone peaches, on the other hand, are a delicious snack to eat fresh, while adventurous eaters out there may find tracking down a semi-freestone peach may be a worthy pursuit. After all, when it comes to peaches, there is something for every taste!