Riana Henderson
Contributing columnist
Nectarines are sweet when ripe, with soft flesh, a juicy interior and an easily damaged smooth skin. They are prevalent in our grocery store fruit sections. To many people, they are a separate fruit or a cross of peach and plum, due their reddish color.
But, are they really a cross, and why are they hairless?
Nectarines are really just peaches.
They have identical pits, flavors and colors. They were both domesticated in China more than 4,000 years ago. Humans bred the peaches with a desirable trait until the trait is common.
The desirable trait, in this case, is smooth skin.
Dominant – common – genes make fuzzy peaches, and recessive – uncommon or hidden – genes make smooth nectarines.
But, do they grow on separate trees or do they separate the fuzzy from the smooth after growth?
Despite, their being mostly identical, peaches and nectarines are not grown on the same tree. They have different preferences.
Peach trees stand the cold better than nectarines.
Nectarine trees are better at surviving in wet soil.
Both of these trees can be cared for in a similar fashion. They both need to be protected from diseases, need to be pruned and can grow in the same varieties of soil.
Peaches and nectarines are the same thing, not a plum cross or a separate fruit all together.
So, feel free to use these in all of your cobblers, jams, and even on top of ice cream this year.
I know you don’t care, but you should!
Because, like nectarines and peaches, people are mostly identical.
We all have the same pit. Everyone needs to be accepted, since deep down we are all the same species. You may not understand, but you can let it be.
No matter what you look like or where you came from, whether you’re a peach or a nectarine.