Did you know that Pears are one of the only fruit that is not meant to ripen on the tree and every US Pear is handpicked? Often towns with a large amount or the historical presence of Pear trees will have the word “Perry” in the town’s name. Perry is also an alcoholic beverage made of fermented Pears. For more fun facts about Pears click here. To learn more about Pears click here.
To NourishPears are high in fiber, copper, Vitamin C and K. They are rich in antioxidants and provide anti-inflammatory support. Pears are known to decrease the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease as well as reducing the risk of Cancer. Pears are sometimes described as “hypoallergenic” or as a low allergy food. To learn more about the health benefits of Pears go here.
Pears can be prepared in a variety of ways. The obvious is to eat them fresh but Pears lend themselves to moist and dry heat methods. Pears can be preserved in jams, chutneys and they can be canned, frozen and dehydrated. For more information on preserving your Pears check out this article. Moist heat methods include poaching and stewing while dry heat includes baking, broiling, sautéing, grilling and roasting. The best Pears for cooking or heating methods include firmer varieties like the Bosc, Anjou and Concord as they hold their shape better and will not loose their flavor when mixed with other cooking ingredients. If a recipe calls for a certain variety of Pear, it is suggested that this variety be used. Some Pears do not lend themselves to heated applications. Those include Yellow Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Starkrimosn and Comice. These varieties my oversoften and loose much of their flavors when heated. Overripe pears are still delicious, just not ideal for serving whole or sliced. Use them in smoothies, sauces or as a tasty thickening agent for soups, stocks or stews.
Each variety of Pear has a different flavor profile as listed below. For more detail check out USA Pears.
- Anjou – refreshingly sweet and juicy with a hint of citrus
- Asian - crisp, aromatic, juicy, sweet with low acidity
- Red Anjou – aromatic, juicy, fresh and sweet
- Bartlett – signature pear flavor with abundant juice
- Red Bartlett – juicy and sweet with a floral essence
- Bosc – crisp and woodsy with a honey sweetness
- Comice – succulent, buttery, and exceptionally sweet
- Concorde – crunchy and earthy with a hint of vanilla
- Forelle – crisp, tangy, and refreshingly sweet
- Seckel – bite-sized, crunchy and ultra-sweet
- Starkrimson – aromatic, moist and sweet with a floral essence
Whether you’re a newcomer to the do-it-yourself movement or a seasoned food crafter looking for new inspiration, Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by food writer and expert food crafter Karen Solomon will inspire you. Organized in twelve chapters, you’ll find 75 recipes ranging from pantry staples (churning your own butter, making crackers) to gifts from the kitchen (jams, lemon curd, homemade peanut butter cups) to pickled and cured delicacies (pickles, gravlax, kimchee, jerky). Practical prep-ahead and storage instructions accompany each recipe, and color photographs bring the food to life. Hardcover, 160 pages. (Williams-Sonoma, $24.95)