Peaches, Apricots and Nectarines ๐Ÿ™‚

In English, ‘peaches and cream’ is the term used for smooth, attractive, unblemished complexion with pleasing coloring. While in Hindi, ‘aadu’ is a North Indian slang for idiot!

Both Peach and Aadu are the names of the same fruit. So, how can their reference in two different languages vary to such a great extent? This question has intrigued me since childhood.

Also, while most people assume Peaches and Apricots to be two slightly different kind of fruits of the same species, in actuality they belong to different species, whereas, as per my recent findings, Peaches and Nectarines belong to the same species. Now many would ask, what on the earth is Nectarine?

Baffled with the confusion around the aforementioned similar looking fruits, I decided to dig deep into the matter and found out a whole new world of information. Below given is a relatively small compilation of my findings.

Peach: Known as Aadu in Hindi, it’s scientific name is Prunus persica.

It is a soft, round, juicy fruit with sweet yellow flesh and pinky-yellow skin. It’s seed is brownish-yellow or brown with slight uneven ridges.

Peaches on a tree
Peaches in a bowl
Peach sliced in halves

Apricot: Known as Khubani in Urdu and Jardalu in Hindi, an apricot is a small, soft, round fruit with yellow-orange flesh and a stone inside. It’s seed is like a big brown circular stone in the middle. Dried Apricots are also known as Khurmani in Hindi.

Usually, an apricot tree is from the species Prunus armeniaca, but the species Prunus brigantina, Prunus mandshurica, Prunus mume, Prunus zhengheensis and Prunus sibiricaare closely related, have similar fruit, and are also called apricots.

Apricots on a tree
Whole Apricots with a sliced in half Apricot
Whole Apricots with a sliced in half Apricot

Nectarine: Known as Shaftalu in Hindi, it’s scientific name is same as that of Peach i.e. Prunus persica.

It is a peach like fruit with a smooth skin. It’s seed is dark brown with uneven ridges like a Rudraksh bead.

Nectarines on a tree
Nectarines

Similarities & Differences:

Peaches, Apricots and Nectarines are similar, but they aren’t exactly the same. They’re all part of same family, the Prunus family, a genus that’s categorized by a hard shell that surrounds its seed in the center of the fruit. That hard shell and seed are often referred to as a stone, which is why the three fruits are commonly called stone fruits.

Peaches and Nectarines have almost similar looking outer skins and size. They are generally larger than apricots; according to info from the US Department of Agriculture, a medium peach is about 2-inches in diameter while an apricot is about a quarter of the size. And yes, some apricots really do look like miniature peaches, fuzzy skin and all, but the taste of apricots is different than that of peaches. When ripe and fresh, apricots are both sweet and tart, while peaches are generally just sweet. Apricots also tend to be less juicy than peaches, meaning that you’re less likely to get a face full of sticky juice after taking a bite.

The main physical difference between Peaches and Nectarines is that Peaches have a fuzzy coating, whereas nectarines are smooth and do not have this coating. They are almost identical genetically, but there is a gene variant between the two. The main difference between a Peach and a Nectarine isn’t the taste but the texture of the outer skin. You can use them interchangeably in recipes. Peaches can come in yellow or white varieties.

Nectarine, Peach and Apricot

Nutrition:

Apricots contain higher levels total protein and total lipids than the other stone fruits as well as higher levels of 4 mineral elements (Ca, Fe, K and Zn) and 5 vitamins (riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folate, vitamin A and vitamin E). However, apricots have the lowest levels of vitamin C.

Nectarines contain the highest levels of 1 mineral (P) and 2 vitamins (vitamin C and niacin). Yet, these fruits also contain the lowest levels of sugars, another mineral (Ca) and 3 other vitamins (riboflavin, vitamin B-6 and vitamin K).

Peaches are not distinguished as having particularly high levels according to the above criteria. These fruits contain the lowest levels of energy (calories), carbohydrates, 1 mineral (Ca, similar to nectarines) and 2 vitamins (vitamin B-6 and folate).

Peaches and nectarines provide almost the same nutrients, with just a small variation. They are both a good source of Vitamin C, carotenoids and potassium.

Popular Dishes:

Apart from being consumed as summer fruits, Peaches, Apricots and Nectarines are also used to make many popular dishes.

Peach Punch, Peach Marmalade, Peach Cobbler, Peach Upside Down Cake, Peach Pie are popular peach based Western dishes.

Peach Marmalade
Peach Cobbler

Peach is also used in assorted Salads.

Rocket Leaves, Walnut & Peach Salad

Dried Apricots or Khurmani or Khubani as popular dry fruits are consumed in their natural state, as well as, after being soaked overnight in water. The stones at their centres are discarded while eating.

Dried Apricots
Dried Apricots

However, each of them contain a small almond inside, which can be availed by carefully breaking the outer shell. Some like to eat them straight away, while some prefer to collect them for garnishing Khubani based and other desserts, like Khubani Ka Meetha.

Khubani Ka Meetha or Qubani Ka Meetha is a popular Hyderabadi nawabi dessert. It is a common feature at Hyderabadi weddings. Made simply by boiling apricots and sugar, this dessert is consumed in it’s natural form and also along with malai, cream or custsrd.

Khubani Ka Meetha
Khubani Ka Meetha With Cream
Khubani Ka Meetha With Custard

I hope that my sharing of these findings will clear the clouds of confusion of many and also instill new knowledge within those who need it and seek it.

Note: All the images displayed herein have been procured from the internet. For this, I would like to convey my big thanks to all concerned.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s