What exactly makes a peach a good 'canning' variety?
I have noted that many peaches listed for canning are clingstone-why? Wouldn't that make the canning harder work?
Anyone with good canning variety recommendations for the NorthEast/PA?
Yes it makes more work. Freestone varieties are usually too soft to can well. They tend to fall apart when canned. Al
I'm in south central Pa. and have very good luck with Red Haven and Elberta. Both are yellow cling free. Can well and great fresh eating too.
The first time I tasted a "canning variety" I was shocked to discover that the flavor was very different from that of fresh eating peaches. Canning peaches taste exactly the same fresh as the flavor they have right out of the can. Somehow I thought the canning process was what made that "canned peach" flavor--nope!
They are also very firm--you have to chew them, as opposed to fresh peaches, which you can squish against the top of your mouth. I assume that is what is meant by "melting texture" of fresh eating peaches.
I love both types!
Carla in Sac
Thanks all for the replies
Would nectarines can well also due to their firm texture?
I've tried it. They essentially melt.
Kinda off subject but on a garden podcast I heard Lovell used to be used as a canning peach, now it serves as a rootstock! So that is one rootstock that produces decent fruit! At least for canning!
This is a bit off topic. My grandmother used to can peaches to make "pickled peaches." She used small firm peaches which she peeled and stuck cloves in them, poured boiling sweetened venigar cut with water over them and then used the normal canning method before sealing. They were delicious.
Nectarines are great for jam, and I've also canned, they do soften up a bit.. . Put a raspberry in for a nice blush.
We've got an old 49-er Peach tree that has served us well...we make so much jam every year!! It's a tree I'm going to be grafting onto a baby tree this Spring just to insure I always have this fruit! Large, clingfree and YUMMY!
One of these days I'd like to plant a canning cling peach. A few years ago I thought that's what I planted with Baby Crawford, but it's a melting flesh freestone.
As Calistoga pointed out, freestone varieties are almost all melting flesh and turn very soft/mushy when canned. The only reason they are popular with home canners, is the ease of removing the flesh, as well as availability.
Superior texture is most of the reason non-melting cling peaches are used in commercial canneries. The other reason is that freestone pits tend to shatter in commercial pitting machines.
Not all cling peaches are canning peaches either. Most cling peaches (read all cling peaches) sold in farmer's markets in the Midwest are melting type and will can no better than freestone. The only reason they are cling is because they are an early variety.
Canning cling peaches are a different animal altogether and probably hard to find, since they are grown almost exclusively in CA and sold as a wholesale commodity.
The red fleshed Indian Cling is an excellent canning peach for us--quite attractive in the jar as well.
This is a wonderful discussion, as I love canning. I made peach jam this year with an unknown variety of freestone peach from Michigan. I'd love to hear others' experiences with canning peaches, as jam or as halved fruit.
I bought some "gourmet" peaches from Aldi last month that had a half-stick of cinnamon in the jar. Delicious!