You may have noticed how the flesh of some peaches separates from the pit smoothly upon cutting or biting, while some peaches have the flesh clinging to the pit like super glue.
This has little to do with ripeness and everything to do with whether the fruit’s categorized as a clingstone or freestone, which can only be ascertained by reaching the pit.
The flesh of clingstone peaches “clings” to the pit or “stone” and tends to be soft and extremely juicy. Clingstone peaches are generally smaller than their freestone counterparts.
Since clingstone peaches are challenging to slice cleanly, they’re ideal for eating fresh. However, being among the sweetest peaches, they're also great for sweet desserts or jams.
Freestone peaches are easy to eat and cut, as the flesh comes off the pit without effort. They’re a bit firmer and less juicy than clingstone ones but are just as sweet and tasty.
Most peach varieties fall into the freestone category, and clingstones are on the rarer side. As for superiority, the ripeness matters, be it freestone or clingstone.
As early bloomers, clingstones will be among the first peaches available in markets during peach season, and freestones will likely be more abundant as the peach season progresses.