Stone fruit is the epitome of summer—we love how the juice runs out with every bite. The category includes all fruits that have a hardy endocarp shell on the inside that encases its seed: think peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and cherries. We’re here to share the best of the season with you, and let you in on some of the unique stone fruit varieties you’ll find on FreshDirect. You can try any of them in salads, on top of your desserts, or simply on their own in all of their ripe, sweet goodness!
The sweet, full flavor of a ripe peach insists that it’s summer: everything about the eating experience—the enticing smell, the juicy flesh, even the downy fuzz—makes you understand what “peachy” really means. Nothing encapsulates that better than a classic yellow peach. The deliciousness doesn’t stop there, however.
White peaches are exceptionally soft and smooth, with a flavor that’s mild, delicate, and deliciously sweet. Donut peaches have a flattened shape with flesh that packs in extra richness. And for a treat that tastes exactly like a dessert, try Family Tree Farms’ heirloom peach pie variety, which has a flavor that matches its namesake.
>> Heirloom Tomato and Peach Avocado Toast
>> Prosciutto & Peaches Grazing Plate
>> Pan Seared Salmon with Peach Basil Salsa
>> Peach Summer Salad
>> Sweet and Savory Peach Grilled Cheese
>> Seasonal Peach, Corn, and Avocado Salad with Skirt Steak
>> Chicken Tortillas with Fresh Peach Salsa
>> Peach Caprese Salad
The yellow nectarine is close kin to a peach. The family resemblance is obvious from the first bite: its golden flesh is soft and juicy; its flavor is sweet, with just enough tang to keep everything in balance. The biggest difference? No fuzz. The smooth, plum-like skin is one of the nectarine’s biggest assets.
For even more silky, sweet deliciousness, try white nectarines, which have a mild, honey-like flavor with less acidity. Or for a truly seasonal treat, we love Family Tree Farms’ Pearlicious variety, which bursts with floral aromas.
>> Grilled Nectarine Salad with Orange Dressing
Plums encompass a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, with flavors that range from sugar sweet to brightly tart. They’re enjoyed the world over, and all types share in common smooth skin and a juicy, plush inside.
Black plums are a classic example of everything this fruit is about—they’ve got a clean, gentle flavor that’s delightful as is, but it really shines in preserves and baked goods. When it comes to snacking, Plumogranates are a winner, with crimson red, juicy flesh and an intense flavor. And for a variety that truly lives up to its name, you can’t beat the candied flavor of the sugar plum, which we source from Watsonia Farms, a more than 100 year old family farm in South Carolina.
>> Plum Cornbread Recipe
Dried apricots are nice, but like linens and princes, this fruit is just better fresh. Their sweetness is more subdued, but they’ve got a bright tanginess that says “I’m here to party.” They’re great for snacking, or you can cut ’em up and plop ’em on ice cream, bake them into tarts, or cook them into a sauce for pork or chicken. Just make sure to let them ripen ’til they yield to a gentle squeeze: that’s an apricot’s way of letting you know it’s ready.
While it’s hard to go wrong with a traditional apricot, there a few varieties worth getting to know as well. Black Velvet apricots reward with a stunning color and tart-sweet juiciness, while Sunset apricots have extreme aromatics and extra sugars. And plum-apricot hybrids are where things get exciting, with novel variations like the Amigo plumcot and Eagle Egg.
Because of their small size, you may think of cherries as a berry. But botanically speaking, they’re very much a stone fruit. Most cherries are grown on the west coast, with California cherries being lighter colored with a noticeable crunch and Washington cherries tending toward darker, bigger, and plushly soft. Either way, when they’re in season, they shouldn’t be missed—enjoying a bowlful of fresh cherries is one of summer’s best treats.
For a classic cherry flavor that lends itself well to baking, go with red cherries. White Rainier cherries which are much more delicate, are best eaten fresh—for peak cherry deliciousness, try them in a jumbo size.
>> Dark Chocolate Cherry Nice Cream
>> Cherry and Blueberry Seasonal Summer Salad
>> Black Cherry Smash Cocktail