What Fruit Is In Season During Summertime?

Of all four seasons, summer is arguably the most exciting from a culinary perspective. Many fruits and vegetables truly come to life during the warmest months, resulting in dozens of bright colors and unmatched flavors at farmers markets and roadside produce stands. However, it can be confusing to figure out which fruits are legitimately in season during the summertime, because, frankly, we live in a world where you can get your hands on most fruits any time of the year, as they are imported from around the globe.

To put it briefly, in America, seasonal summer fruits include lots of berries, melons, stone fruits, and the crown jewel of many gardeners, tomatoes (which are often grouped culinarily with vegetables). Although this list encompasses the United States, certain fruits may ripen at different times during the summer depending on the temperature and where they are grown. For example, Southern California enjoys much warmer temperatures throughout the year than, say, Pennsylvania. Therefore, these summer fruits may be available earlier on the West Coast than they are in the East.

Bundles of berries and mountains of melons

If you love to eat fresh berries, summer is the time for you. Expect blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries all to be in season. Sometimes, fruits overlap with the seasons, like strawberries, which begin ripening in the spring and last into the summer. Aside from snacking on these beauties a handful at a time, enjoy berries in pancakes, cobblers, smoothies, crumbles, and on top of yogurt parfaits. There are so many easy ways to dress up summer fruit that there's no reason to get bored with berries at all, at least not until you're ready for fall.

Is it really summertime without the presence of copious amounts of watermelon? Sweet, juicy, and incredibly hydrating, it's a hit with all ages, especially on the warmest days. You can find the sweetest watermelon of the bunch by a simple two-finger trick. But don't forget about other types of melons as well, like cantaloupes, honeydews, and many other hybrid and heirloom varieties. Melons make a super-tasty addition to flavored waters, making getting your eight glasses a day much more interesting.

Stone fruits, tomatoes, and figs

An entire group of fruits known as stone fruits ripens in the summer. As the name suggests, these fruits contain a hard, stone-like pit in the center of their sweet flesh and include cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, and nectarines. Stone fruits taste wonderful eaten right off the tree, and often contain lots of sweet juice. Together, they are magic, so you could make a fruit salad out of stone fruits alone, or include all of them in a colorful tart. Puree them to make popsicles, ice creams, or use them in unique cocktails.

The fruit that many gardeners, chefs, and foodies go bonkers for is the tomato. Available in countless colors with some really fun varietal names, fresh summer tomatoes begin ripening in late July in some parts of the country, with August and September being the peak of their season.

Finally, late summer also brings some memorable fruits, among them figs. Curiously, they aren't technically a fruit at all, but are often treated as such. If you want to use up figs or other seasonal produce in an interesting way, consider sprucing up your late summer fruits with rose water.