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I am going to be canning a bunch of peaches tonight, and I know that you have to peel them first (and I know how to do it easy), but I got to wondering, why do I have to do it?

I have always done it. That is the way it was taught to me by my mother, but why?

The inside is the part that wants to rot, the out side is the protective coating (or so it seems). Why do we need to remove it to can the peach?

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I have no experience canning at all, but one thought comes to mind: Peeling eliminates most pesticides and other residues that may have been applied. – Carey Gregory Aug 24 '12 at 0:55
up vote 8 down vote accepted

My opinion- I haven't done rigorous testing:

Canning softens the interior of the peach but when I have (in my laziness) left the skins on they stay tough and quite unpleasant tasting.

I doubt it has any effect on the longevity of the product but it would make it a little less pleasant and versatile.

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You don't HAVE to peel the peaches to can them, that's just how most people prefer them. I've canned them with the peel on and it turns the syrup a lovely pink colour, and as far as I could tell, didn't affect the taste of the peaches.

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The last few years, I've canned both peaches and pears leaving the skins on. They are a bit tough after canning but I love them both that way. I also don't add sugar to the water unless I'm canning them for someone else. If the peaches are ripe, they taste fresh off the tree. Awhile back, Dr. Oz told his audience the 5 fruits that are high in sugar content and two of them were peaches and pears. The juice from canning them without sugar tastes great, I think, and if a person can save a little money by not adding something that's not needed, then why not.

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Here in South Africa we bottle/can yellow peaches(Geelperskes). They are covered with thousands of tiny hairs if you would call them that. Peeling them is definitely required as you would not want those hairs inside your syrup and sticking to your peaches.

Really unpleasant to get those hair in your throat. Haven't tried bottling the smooth skinned type though

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Note that in most varieties of English, peach = fuzzy-skinned, and nectarine = smooth-skinned. In other words, you wouldn't call it a peach if its skin weren't fuzzy. – Marti Aug 18 '15 at 0:31

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