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How to tell when a peach is ripe

Peaches are ripe and will soon be coming from many states during the summer. Locally- grown Kansas peaches have joined those from other parts of the country in our markets.

A peach is a very fragile fruit, regardless of where it's grown, and must be carefully handled to avoid bruising.

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A clue of finding the best fruit is its color. Immature fruit has a green cast, while mature fruit is creamy to golden yellow in color.

If the fruit is hard, it can be ripened at room temperature and then refrigerated.

If ripe peaches become over-ripe, just puree or mash them up and fold into yogurt for breakfast, into sour cream for a fruit salad dressing, or into whipped cream for a shortcake filling for dessert.

If a recipe calls for sliced peaches, figure on 3 medium size peaches to make 3 cups of sliceD, or 1 pound.

To peel peaches easily, peel them as you would tomatoes. Put peaches into boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transfer to cold water. The skins will slip right off. To keep peaches bright and fresh-looking, dip into lemon juice.

If you know varieties and have a favorite, ask your retailer about when he expects a shipment.

Much of the California peach crop is processed, so you'll have to wait for it to arrive in cans or frozen.

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