For all their scrumptiousness, juiciness and curious crunchiness, many will tell you they never 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. Continue reading →
Pears – they can be round or pear-shaped, green, yellow or light brown. You can get them fresh, dried, canned, juiced, baked or poached. They are a botanist’s delight as there are over 5,000 varieties of them! All are members of the rose family as are scores of other fruits including apples, quinces, strawberries and almonds. The varieties we are most likely to find in local supermarkets are the Bartlett, typically-shaped, Bosc identifiable for their brown-skins and Anjous, yellow but short-necked. All pears bruise easily but mercifully ripen well when picked early.
Pears appear to date back to Asia and Africa 3000 years ago. Gradually, the Europeans brought them to North America. Today most are grown in South America, Asia, New Zealand and along the U.S. northern coasts. Continue reading →