A sweet, summertime treat.
Saturn Donut Peach
Credit: Paul_Brighton/Getty Images

One of the tastiest – and perhaps cutest—summer stone fruits is the aptly named donut peach. They are the size and shape of a donut, especially when the small, round pit comes out, leaving a perfect hole in the center of this squat fruit with plump shoulders. It's also called a Saturn peach, which makes sense if you view the pit as the planet and the sweet creamy white or pale golden flesh as one big ring. And yet another moniker is the saucer peach, as in a disk-shaped flying saucer UFO from an old sci-fi flick.

Ripe donut peaches are notably flavorful, juicy and sweet with a hint of almond. (As with all peaches, donuts will let you know they're ripe and ready when they emit their unmistakable perfume.) Their tender skins have little to no fuzz, so there's no need to peel them unless you want to, and if you do, the thin skins slip off in wide strips with little more than a tug on a loose spot near the pit, which pops out easily with a finger poke and gentle pull. Donut peaches are usually palm size, easy to polish off in a few drippy, delightful bites. In other words, ripe donut peaches are perfect for eating out of hand, and are a dream to work up for any recipe that calls for fresh peaches.

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Donut peaches have been around for years, but they're showing up more often in grocery stores, making them a delicious option when we can't make it out to a local roadside peach stand or farmers market, especially for those of us who don't live in prime Southern peach territory. Although the donut peaches we find in grocery stores are not usually labeled by specific variety, it's nice to know that they have fun names, such as UFO, Galaxy, Tango Os, Sweet Bagels, Sauzee Swirls, Peach Pies, and Flat Wonderfuls.

Donut peaches might be a tad pricier than regular round peaches, but many peach lovers believe that a super sweet and juicy donut is worth taking for a spin. Keep an eye out for their cousins, donut nectarines, as well.