Picking the Best Tasting Nectarines

One of my favorite fruits out there are nectarines. They are sweet with a tart flavor to them. They can be very similar to peaches but I would say nectarines are crunchier. Nectarines contain MANY health benefits like:

  • Vitamin A – Great for eyes and vision
  • Vitamin C – Great for immune system, healing of wounds, healthy skin, blood vessels, and bone
  • Beta-Carotene (Precursor of Vitamin A) – Great for your eyes, skin, and immunity
  • Folate – Good for red blood cell formation, bodily function, and fetal development during pregnancy
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3) – Great for red blood cell formation, increases HDL cholesterol (the good kind), lowers triglycerides, boosts brain function
  • Potassium – Great for preventing muscle cramps as well as improving heart health
  • Calcium – Great for bone health

When you pick nectarines out at the grocery store, they may all look very similar and it can be difficult to tell which one is good, so you might end up just randomly choosing them. By the time you arrive home to try them, you might notice that some are so much more flavorful while others might have a bland flavor. You might wonder if there is a trick to pick out the better tasting ones? There is one actually!

How to Pick the Best Tasting Nectarines

Here is a picture of a flavorful, tasty nectarine and a fairly bland one. Can you tell the difference at first?At first glance, the one on the RIGHT might look tastier. It has a nice shade of red as well as some yellow, it essentially has some nice coloring to it. I mean, nice coloring probably equates to great taste right? Actually…not quite! Surprisingly, it is actually the one on the LEFT that has the most flavor between the two. How can one tell though?

Well, the one on the left has these unique marks on them that almost gives it an “unclean” or “ugly” appearance to it. They are like little brownish, freckled spots. This is a tell tale sign that this nectarine will be much sweeter, more tart-like than the more appealing, cleaner looking nectarine (the one on the RIGHT of the photo).

Here is another great example:Do you notice the center nectarine with a large, decaying looking brown spot? Well, between the tiny freckled brown spotted one and this large brown decaying spot one, this nectarine with the large brown decaying spot would be the MOST tasty one, although both would still be quite flavorful.

In summary, to pick the best nectarines, you want to go for the most ugly one with brown spots. The more noticeable and bigger the brown spot, the better. Of course, you should also take into account whether the fruit was crushed or bruised (sorry, that won’t make it any tastier). I guess the saying is true here, “never judge a book by its cover”, but perhaps we should change it to “never judge a fruit by its look”!

Reason Why These Nectarines are So Flavorful

I am not sure if there is a real explanation for this unique phenomenon. But if I had to guess and from my understanding of science, it would actually be due to the sugar content within the fruit. Sugar seems to have this effect of making things age or decay faster. This might explain why conditions like diabetes even exists when one consumes excess sugars for a long period time. Diabetes is quite taxing on some organs, interferes with circulation, and our cells just essentially age faster.

On that note, that could explain why these nectarines with brownish, decaying spots are sweeter than other ones. Those spots are just giveaway signs of how sweet the fruit will be!

Knowing that, if you do actually have diabetes, you may want to consume these flavorful nectarines with moderation.

When Nectarines Are in Season

They are most abundant during the months of summer: June, July, and August. Depending on the area and climate, you might even see them as early as late April or as late as October.

Tool to Help with Slicing Them

I usually slice bits and pieces from the nectarine with a knife and work my way around the seed. But if you are on the go and need to slice them ahead of time, you can try using this wedger tool.

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Using the stem of fruit as the standard, you will need to position the center hole of wedger tool (oval shaped) to match the shape or seam of the fruit (kind of where the two halves of the fruit meet together). Then you press firmly down with the tool and you will have nicely sliced nectarines.


Nectarines are very nutritious fruits. Unfortunately, they only appear during the warmer season. Since they are just around the corner, you are now more prepared on how to pick out the best tasting ones when they finally appear at the grocery stores. You can even use the wedger tool to slice them up. Hope you have a great experience with nectarines this upcoming season!

If you like this hack on how to pick the best nectarines, check out another hack on how to pick the best bell peppers! Other than that, please leave a comment below!

14 thoughts on “Picking the Best Tasting Nectarines”

  1. You know, I honestly had no idea that there was so much to pick in the right and the perfect nectarine. As a matter fact, I had no idea that there was this way of cutting them! I must admit that I really appreciate you offering the tool that you use to cut them because I had no idea that the tool even existed so I will actually be getting this from myself because I love nectarines and I will definitely be using this to cut my nectarines

    • Hi there, Misael! I am glad that you enjoyed the article! I ate a couple of really tasty nectarines a long time ago and I couldn’t help but want to figure out if there was a trick to consistently find them. This has been the most consistent trick I have been using so far. Hope the cutting tool works out great for you too!

  2. I also adore nectarines, and so far, unfortunately, I have also been one of those who chose the ones that looked prettier in the store or at the market. When you try it, however, you find that it just looks like a nectarine, with no real taste.
    That’s why this advice is great for me! At the first opportunity, when it will be nectarine season again and they will be on offer, I will try out this tip you shared with us.
    I’m already looking forward to the sweet juicy taste of nectarines!
    Friendly greeting,

    • Hi there, Nina! I am glad there is someone else who enjoys nectarines as much as I do! I use to pick the prettiest nectarine all the time but I noticed that they were bland most of the time. Then one time I bit into an ugly one (because my mom bought it and it would be a waste to not eat it) and wow it was the tastiest one I have ever eaten. I consistently found the ugly ones to be the tastiest and that’s how I’ve been choosing my nectarines ever since.

  3. Hello Mike,

    I really loved this natural and tasteful life hack!! I am absolutely blessed in that regard: I have an apricot tree in my back yard! They are delicious, very tasty and sweet, unlike what you purchase in the supermarket. And yes, we tend to find out that the uglier-looking fruit in general is the best or healthiest, usually because very good-looking fruit is a sign of a lot of chemicals being used…  

    I really like to read your hacks, keep up the good work!


    • Hello there, Sofia! I am glad you liked my articles! That’s really cool that you have an apricot tree at home, I always wanted one but I don’t think it will tolerate the weather where I am, unfortunately. I will definitely keep on posting more ideas!

  4. Hello. You describe my favourite fruit on summer season. I have them in garden, and I enjoy eating them. But on the market they are available earlier and I peak them by touching them,and then I know that is good and tasty. I never buy nectarine that is hard when I touch and when nectarine has yellow colour on them. I absolutely love how you describe this fruit and fructose(sugar from fruit) give them such a delicious taste. 

    • Hi there, Aleksandra! Oh wow that is really cool that you have your own nectarine tree! I am sure you probably have much more experience in picking the best tasting ones. Glad that you liked my article.

  5. I’d never heard this before and as you guessed like most people I was probably choosing the less tasty kind. One thing I did learn about picking out fruit and veg is that you don’t poke them with a finger to see if they are soft or not. In fact, I have seen market stall owners shout aggressively at would-be customers for committing this heinous sin. Of course, they would only do that in Europe where there is generally a better understanding of such things. My wife does this all the time – poke at pieces of fruit with a finger or thumb trying to see whether or not they are ripe and she is utterly impervious to my pleas that she is damaging the fruit. Well, I am going to store away this new little nugget of information and try it out next time I see nectarines on offer. Thanks much, Andy

    • Hi there, Andy! That’s interesting that market stall owners in Europe would shout at customers for squeezing fruits to check for ripeness. But then again, it makes sense since squeezing the fruit can sometimes damage them. Hope your future nectarine picking adventures at the market will be a great one!

  6. I would like to sum it up like this. As it happens with peaches; white and yellow nectarines are distinguished by the color of the fruit’s flesh and the balance of sweetness and acidity. For example, white nectarines have more sugar and less acid, creating a pleasant sweet flavor. Yellow nectarines are slightly tangier with more acid and less sugar. Quite easy to remember!

    • Hello there, Ann. Thank you for sharing. Yes there are two types of nectarines. The sweetness will range for both depending on the environment of how the fruit tree was grown in like the richness of the soil, sunlight received, water receive, fertilizers used, etc. The hack I mentioned works mainly for yellow nectarines. Although different from white nectarines, there is still a varying level of sweetness even between each yellow nectarine.

  7. Hello, Mike thank you so much for this article. I am a real nectarine fan. We even have one tree in our garden. She is still young so we can eat only about 4 little nectarines a year, but she will grow, I am sure. What I didn’t know was the brownish spots, this is the most interesting thing I learned from your report. I always thought it was a hybrid fruit, peach, and apricot, but I guess I am wrong, do you know anything about the histories of the nectarine?

    • Hi there, Monique! That’s really awesome that you have a nectarine tree in your garden. In terms of the history of nectarines, I don’t really know too much about it; they are their own kind of fruit, just pretty similar to peaches. 


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