Essay About Grilled Fruit 3 - Nectarines (Dessert)

A Great Dessert

So simple to prepare, plus these are healthy and help you avoid unnecessary sugar and calories.

But really it is the taste. It is the taste which demands the grilling. Few people indulge in the uncomplicated act of putting a nectarine half on a grill, despite the simplicity of doing so, but they are missing a great taste. The grill concentrates the delicious nectarine flavor and sends it right out of this world.

Try it. You’ll see.

Did I mention they look so beautiful on the grill? Does beauty enhance taste?

What Is a Nectarine?

A nectarine is not a cross between a peach and a plum. Nor, on the other hand, is it a separate species, separate from the peach. Wikipedia defines nectarines as a “cultivar group” of peaches, but that is not very helpful, particularly when you read the definition of “cultivar group.”

I once saw nectarines defined as “a natural somatic variation of a peach,” where “somatic” means “seed.” This usefully says you plant the seed and most times a peach tree grows but sometimes a nectarine tree grows.

At any rate, grilling this delicious fruit simply starts with cutting each one in half, removing the stone, and then plopping them on a preheated grill. (Always preheat the grill, for this and all the other delicious items in this series).

Here They Are

This is at night. They almost glow in the dark, don’t they?

After all, we are going for dessert here. And dessert typically comes after dinner, but in fact of course you could serve these after lunch — or even after breakfast — if you wanted to! That’s a wonderful idea, grilled nectarines for breakfast — I will have to explore that idea.

It takes only about three minutes on a preheated grill to get the nectarines to look like this. Maybe another one or two on the other side.

The longer you leave them on the grill, the softer they become. So, if you prefer some crispness of the ungrilled nectarine, minimize the time on the grill. On the other hand, if you want to maximize flavor, maximize.


Add some raspberry sorbet. As advertised, we are going for dessert here, and raspberry sorbet is a perfect dessert, all by itself (very good) or with grilled fruit (magnificent). The flavors of nectarine and raspberry seem made for each other — in Heaven.

The contrast between the cool sorbet and the warm nectarine i s also enticing. Factors like this are important in the enjoyment of good food, but are often overlooked, oddly.

You could use chocolate ice cream instead of sorbet. Some people like that. Or you could go whole hog and use both chocolate ice cream and raspberry sorbet, if you dare.

The basic appeal here, though, is simplicity. No wondering whether the souffle will collapse or how long to leave the pie or the cake in the oven. (More modern worries, of course, concern who is allergic to what and who is a vegan, among others). Just the simple starting point of a delicious fruit enhanced by a short grilling and then accompanied by a classic. Plates will be scrapped, I guarantee.

Parting facts

It is often said that nectarines and peaches are basically the same, but I think few people would say they taste exactly the same. If you lined up a hundred people and blind-folded them just before five halves of nectarine and five of peach were place before them, I predict that the vast majority would be able to say this is a peach, this a nectarine — with great accuracy. The difference is subtle, but noticeable, and in my opinion that, not the smooth skin versus the fuzzy skin, is the reason most shoppers reach for one or the other.

But exactly what that taste difference is is a more complicated matter. One celebrity chef has said that the nectarine is slightly sweeter and more aromatic than the peach. I wouldn’t put it like that. For me, the taste of a peach is like a single clear note from a fine violin, whereas the the taste of the nectarine involves several instruments — maybe even more than one note.

Just a thought, a culinary thought — for what it’s worth. Please let us know what you think about this vitally important question. Your thoughts might even move a shopper’s hand from one bin to another.