Yesterday at the grocery store, I was picking up my umpteenth nectarine, trying to find one that smelled like a nectarine, when a young woman approached and commented to her mother that the nectarines and peaches looked good.
She tore off a plastic bag and just started loading it with every nectarine she picked up. She didn’t even look over them for bruises; much less give them a squeeze to see if they were ripe. She certainly didn’t take a whiff of the stem end.
I asked her how she knew they would be good and she just gave me this blank stare, and then tentatively answered “because they’re here?” I’m sure she thought I was the fruit police. I stood empty handed, and she had a half a dozen nectarines in her bag.
I finally found two (out of a least a couple hundred) that I felt were worthy of taking home. I don’t know, maybe hers will ripe on the counter, but I’ve always found that if the nectarine doesn’t have that peachy smell in the store, it sure as heck isn’t going to develop it after a few days on my kitchen counter. In fact, the skin usually shrivels up long before it ever, if at all, emits a fragrant smell.
It really makes me long for a nectarine tree in my back yard.