Peachy keen tips & recipes

Summer is synonymous with ripe Ontario peaches

From mid-July through to September, when grocery stores, roadside stands and farmers’ markets are brimming with summer’s favourite stone fruit, the fresh, floral aroma of Ontario peaches inspires a season of creative cooking for dishes both sweet or savoury.

Peaches 101

Sitting pretty, with juicy, fragrant flesh and a blush that rivals the most picturesque sunset, fresh Ontario peaches are a local summer staple to celebrate and savour.

Peach types in Ontario

Yellow flesh peaches have a sweet,  slightly tart flavour that’s perfect for both sugary and savoury applications, while white peaches are honey-like in sweetness, making them well-suited to breakfast and dessert. 

Of the yellow flesh varieties, the most established cultivars include (in order of ripening) Harrow Diamond, Redhaven and Vivid, with some promising newcomers entering the game, including Springcrest, Starfire and Harbrite. Also starting to crop up are locally grown white flesh peaches, such as White Lady and Blushingstar, and flat (a.k.a. doughnut) peaches, which are sweet, low in acid, and come in yellow or white.


The nose knows

Picking the perfect peach is as simple as following your nose. A peach that smells fragrant and, well, peachy is the peach to buy. Next, look for smooth skin without a tinge of green: Any signs of wrinkling indicate an overripe peach, whereas green undertones point to an underripe one. I know you’ll want to, but try to avoid pressing the flesh of the peach—that road only leads to bruised fruit.


Did you know?

The temperate climate of the Niagara Fruit Belt serves as the perfect place for peach trees to flourish. This prolific peach producing area yields over 80% of Canada’s summer supply.

Peach Bourbon Barbecued Ribs with Savoury Grilled Peaches

Patience is a virtue when it comes to making perfect ribs. By using indirect heat and giving the ribs plenty of time in a closed grill, the flavourful meat will relax and become fall-off-the-bone tender.

Get this ribs with peaches recipe

Peach & Tomato Bucatini with Toasted Hazelnuts

Mother Nature sure knew what she was doing when she made tomato and peach season occur at the same time here in Ontario. The lightly acidic, juicy sweetness of both of these two summer fruits play off each other in the most delightful way, making for the perfect summer pasta.

Get this pasta recipe

Walnut Peach Focaccia with Sherry Vinegar

When the height of summer hits and peaches of all varieties find their way into every recipe possible, this savoury, salty, sweet and nutty topping combination is a notable fave.

Get this focaccia recipe

Peach & Mascarpone Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Ganache

This decadent dessert easily becomes a weekend-worthy breakfast by swapping out the white chocolate ganache for good old-fashioned pure maple syrup. 

Get this bread pudding recipe