Stone Fruits

Posted on July 12th, 2019

Summer is here and passing us by quickly so grab your baskets and gather all the seasonal stone fruits you can! You have heard people refer to some fruits as stone fruits, but do you know what they are? Stone fruit is a fruit with flesh or pulp enclosing a large stone. Some people even refer to stone fruits as a drupe. Did you know that sometimes the stones found in the fruit are mistaken for seeds, but that is not necessarily true because seeds are found inside the stones. The stones can also be referred to as pits. Pits are the part of a fruit that is usually thrown away.

The Different Types of Stone Fruits

When it comes to stone fruits, there are so many different kinds. These fruits typically grow on trees in Summer. They all range in different shapes, sizes, and taste.

Examples of stone fruits include:

●        Peaches

●       Nectarines

●        Plums

●        Lychees

●        Mangos

●        Apricots

●        Cherries

●        Pluot (plum-apricot hybrid)

How To Choose Ripe Stone Fruits

To know when the fruits are ready to be eaten, give peaches, plums, apricots, pluots, and nectarines a slight squeeze — they should be firm, but soft, without any big bruises or wrinkled skin. They should also smell sweet.

The color of some of these fruits help identify when they are ripe:

  • Lychees turn vibrant in color when they are ripe.
  • Apricots turn a deep orange-gold color rather than a pale orange or yellow color when they are ripe.
  • Mangoes, even though they can be eaten when they are green or slightly yellow in color, they tend to taste the sweetest when they are a mixer of red and yellow.
  • Cherries that are sour tend to come off the stem when they are ripe enough to be harvested, while sweet cherries are identified by taste tests and how vibrant their color is.

How To Store Stone Fruits

  • Nectarines ripen the quickest, with a shelf life of 1to 2 days in the fridge. If the fruit is not ripe yet, store on the kitchen counter at room temperature for 1 or 2 days. Placing the nectarines in a plastic bag may help speed up the process.
  • Ripe plums and peaches last about 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Be careful because extended time in the fridge will dehydrate the fruit, making the texture less appealing. Storing them in a plastic bag will also help extend their shelf life.
  • Apricots are similar to plums where they last 2 to 5 days in the fridge. Place them in a plastic bag to keep them fresh for longer by extending their shelf life.
  • Cherries last about 3 days when refrigerated with a plastic bag.
  • Mangoes can last about 5 to 7 days in the fridge. To extend the shelf life of fully ripe mangoes, place them in a plastic bag before placing them in the fridge.
  • Lychees are best stored in the fridge with a plastic bag. These fruits can last up to 2 weeks.

Make sure to wait to wash your stone fruit until right before you want to eat it since washing can speed up the ripening process.

Take Away

These fruits, whether you call them stone fruit or drupe, are great fruit options. There are so many different varieties in this family of fruits. These seasonal fruits taste the best during the summer. Knowing which fruits to pick and how to store them properly, one can enjoy these fruits the entire season. Reasor’s can help with all your fruit buying needs!

About the Blogger:

My name is Shanita Rob and I’m dietetic student/intern from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. I love to learn about new nutrition concepts and put them to use right away!

Additional Resources

Summer sweetness:  Getting the best shelf life of stone fruit:

Cherries, The Fruit That Eases Your Aches And Pains”

Stone Fruit 101

Spectacular Stone Fruits

Harvesting and Storage


DISCLAIMER: Information included does not constitute medical advice and should only be used as a general recommendation for a healthy diet. Reasor’s Registered Dietitian’s opinions and recommendations are of their own; they are not paid to endorse any products.