Here's an interesting fact you probably didn't know. Peaches and nectarines are genetically virtually identical. The nectarine is actually a type of peach. The only real difference between them is that peaches have a furry exterior while nectarines are smooth. When it comes to taste, nectarines are typically sweeter than peaches, although this isn't always the case. Feel free to interchange them in recipes when you have one and a recipe calls for the other. It's easy to ripen overly firm fruit at home. Simply place them in a brown paper bag and leave on the kitchen counter for a few days.