pear


There are more than 5,000 varieties of pears grown throughout the world in temperate climates. France is known for its superior pears and in the United States most of the crop comes from California, Oregon and Washington. Mother Nature protected the easily bruised pear by making it better when picked while still hard. Unlike most fruit, it improves in both texture and flavor after it's picked. Pears range in shape from spherical to bell-shaped and in color from celadon green to golden yellow to tawny red. Ripe pears are juicy and, depending on the variety, can range in flavor from spicy to sweet to tart-sweet. Pears are in season from late July to early spring, depending on the variety and the region. Choose those that are fragrant and free of blemishes. Store at room temperature until ripe; refrigerate ripe fruit. It's not necessary to peel pears before using, but, if they are peeled, they should be dipped in acidulated water to prevent the flesh from browning. For cooking, choose fruit that is still quite firm. Pears are also available dried as well as canned in either water, sugar syrup or their natural juice. They contain small amounts of phosphorus and vitamin A.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Why We Love Pears

There’s a lot folks don’t show enough love to this underappreciated fruit. Find out what you've been missing.

In Season: Pears

Perk up your salads, appetizers or just a simple cheese-and-cracker plate. You can do a lot more with pears than snacking (but that’s still a good way to eat ‘em).

Market Watch: Pears

Pick up a few varieties of these delicate Autumn gems next time you're at the market.

Holiday Pear Salad

Make this healthy, textured salad for the holidays and throughout the winter months.

Are Pears the New Apples?

It appears that pears are everywhere — but are they the new apples?

5-Ingredients: Pear Chutney

Make homemade pear chutney to serve with chicken or pork, with a cheese plate, over yogurt or on a sandwich.

Market Watch: Asian Pears

Also known as “apple pears” these crunchy, yet juicy fruits are a seasonal treat to savor! Gobble ‘em up while you can.

5 New Ways to Prepare Pears

It’s a fabulous time of year for pears! Take advantage of the sweet flavor and dose of fiber and potassium in these innovative recipes.