The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat nectarines. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.


What nectarine etiquette is

Nectarine etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat nectarines. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow nectarine etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.

If you are a guest, respect nectarine etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.

What you should know about nectarines

A nectarine is a fruit from the eponymous tree. It is a variety of peaches. China is the largest grower, accounting for 60% of the global production. 

Nectarines are round in shape, with smooth skin. The color of the skin ranges from dark yellow to deep orange or red. While their flesh is pale pink, yellow, or whitish. They have a juicy and fragrant texture. Their flavor is sweet, but more acidic compared to peaches. Inside, nectarines have a single large stone.

How To Serve And Eat nectarines

Etiquette tips to serve and eat nectarines

1) How to store nectarines

Store whole nectarines out of the fridge if they are not ripe. Store them in a cool place. Away from sources of heat or direct light. Keep them there for 2 to 3 days, until they ripen.

Store ripe nectarines in the fridge. Avoid placing them in a sealed container. Do not wrap them in plastic. They will last about 4 or 5 days. Sliced nectarines can last up to 2 or 3 days.

In the freezer, nectarines will last for 10 or 12 months.

2) How to clean nectarines

It is a good hygiene norm to wash an uncut nectarine before eating it or slicing it. Even a quick wash decreases the risk of contamination from pesticides or other chemicals. 

Place the nectarines in a bowl of water. Leave them there for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, wash them under running water. Dry them on a kitchen cloth.

3) How to prepare nectarines 

Cut the nectarine in halves with a knife. Slice the fruit all around the stone. Follow the line of the dimple. Then, separate the two halves and remove the stone. Finally, remove the skin and slice the fruit into chunks.

Fresh nectarines are perfect for making jam, sauces, or chutneys. Use them in fruit salads, tarts, crumbles, pies, or cheesecakes. You can add them on top of ice cream or mix them with yogurt and cereals. 

They are also a great ingredient for fresh juices, smoothies, or milkshakes. 

Squeeze fresh, sliced nectarines with lemon juice to prevent them from turning dark. 

4) How to serve & present nectarines

You can serve nectarines for breakfast, a snack, or as a fruit course after a meal. 

If you serve them whole, do not remove the skin. Serve them washed, in a serving bowl. 

If you serve them in chunks, it is ideal to remove the skin. Present sliced nectarines with a serving spoon. You can accompany them with cream, whipped cream, yogurt, mascarpone, or ice cream. 

Alternatively, you can serve sliced nectarines in small individual cups. 

Serve nectarines slightly chilled or at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge between 10 and 30 minutes before serving. 

5) Food and wine to pair nectarines with

The aroma of nectarines matches well with many flavors. Vanilla. Cinnamon. Basil. Mint. Lemongrass. Rosemary. Caramel. Ginger. Honey.

You can combine nectarines with dairy or milk-based products. Kefir. Cream. Mascarpone. Yogurt. Gelato.

Nectarines go well in fruit salads. Combine them with citric fruits, such as lemon, lime, or orange. Berries such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries. Other stone fruits, like apricots, plums, or cherries.

They pair well with nuts too. Such as almonds, pecans, pistachios, or hazelnuts.

Nectarines pair well with sparkling wines. Such as Champagne or Prosecco. You can accompany them with spirits or liqueurs. Such as brandy, bourbon, rum, Cassis, Kirsch, or Grand Marnier.

6) How to eat nectarines

When nectarines are served whole, place one on your plate. Cut the peach in halves with a knife. Slice the fruit all around the kernel. Cut along its natural dimple. Then, separate the two halves and remove the kernel. You can discard the skin, or keep it and eat it. Eat the nectarine with a fork and a knife.

Eat a whole nectarine in bites only on very informal occasions. 

If the nectarines are served in chunks, eat them with a small spoon or a fork. 

nectarine etiquette mistakes

Nectarine etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst nectarine etiquette mistakes. 

  • 8/10. Serving spoiled or overripe nectarines.
  • 8/10. Serving unwashed nectarines.
  • 7/10. Eating nectarines in bites on formal occasions.
  • 7/10. Serving unripe nectarines.

Additional information for properly serving nectarines

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

Nectarines contain 44 calories per 100 grams. A single raw nectarine weighs around 145 grams and contains around 65 calories.

How to buy the best nectarines

A crucial factor in nectarine etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

The season for nectarines is from July to the end of September.

Choose the best

Ripe nectarines should have a fragrant aroma. The skin should not be wrinkled or too soft. When you touch them, nectarines should feel firm and yield just a slight give.

Alternatives to nectarines

The best substitutes for nectarines are peaches or apricots. 


What is the difference between peaches and nectarines?

Nectarines are a variety of peaches. Nectarines have smooth skin, compared to the velvety skin of peaches. Their taste is similar but nectarines are more acidic. 


  • Chemical and nutritional evaluation of major genotypes of nectarine: