There are thousands of varieties of peaches out there, and the most common are yellow-fleshed, slightly fuzzy fruits that are round and resemble other stone fruits, like nectarines. There is a huge variety of size, shape and flavor that peaches can have, however, and it is becoming more and more common to see multiple peach varieties at grocery stores that might previously have only been available at some farmers’ markets. Donut peaches are a type of peach that has been gaining popularity over the past few years. The peaches, rather than being round, are quite flat with a stem that is almost pushed down into the center of the donut-shaped fruit. The “donut” name describes the shape of these peaches and there are actually quite a few varieties of donut peach, and many have fun names including Saturn, Jupiter and even Sweet Bagel. They are known for being very sweet with a strong, floral peach flavor, and for having a creamy flesh.
Donut peaches are in season during July and August. When shopping for them, try to pick peaches that have a slight give to their flesh and a strong, sweet aroma. They can be baked with, just like other types of peaches, but they are ideal for eating out of hand because of their strong, sweet peach flavor and tender flesh. When you get a ripe one, be sure to eat it as soon as possible because these peaches do not store well and will start to over-soften shortly after hitting their peak.