Pears, So Overlooked
Marty Martindale

For all their scrumptiousness, juiciness and curious crunchiness, many will tell you they pearnever think of pears, and they are missing a treat. Centuries back, pears were referred to as “butter fruit” due to their soft, butterly-like texture. Contrarily, pear leaves were rolled and smoked before tobacco found its way into Europe. 

A pear tree can bear fruit for as many as 100 years, and there are 3,000 varieties of pears on the records, though the number of pear species developed for consumption is far lower. Currently, Italy, China and the U.S. are the leading growers.

We first learn about pears originating in Asia, near the Chinese border, about 3,000 years ago. Then we don’t hear much about them until the 17th century in Europe, and it’s a given they found their way to the colonies by the 18th century. The climates of Oregon and Washington are the most conducive to abundant pear production.

Fresh pears are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber.

Select bright, firm pears, free of bruises or tears in skin. They continue to ripen well after picking. This can be hastened by placing the under-ripe pears in a paper bag. Once ripe, pears should be refrigerated in a plastic bag. Do not place ripe pears near bananas. 

 Below are some of the major varieties of pears, their name and general appearances:

Green Anjou — Large and yellowish green
Red Anjou — Egg-shaped, dark red color
Yellow Bartlett — Most frequently available, red blush.
Red Bartlett — Smaller and bright red.
Bosc — Firm, brown skin, long neck. A good cooking pear.
Comice — Large and green.
Forelle — Yellow with freckling and reddish blush.
Seckel — Reddish green in color, small
Seckel — Reddish green in color, small 


  • Appetizers
    Dried in trail mixes
  • Baked
  • Cake
  • Cheese
  • Chutney
  • Cider poached
  • Cream or Cottage cheese salad
  • Crostini
  • Pear jelly/jam
  • Pie
  • Pudding
  • Relish
  • Roast pears
  • Salsa
  • Smoked turkey  

Below are foodsites with recipes using pears.


Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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