Pears: Pears aren’t that fancy of a fruit. You have probably been eating them since you started on solid food years ago. The tough part is there are so darn many varieties that it can be tough to know which one to buy. A quick run down of some of the more common varieties should help demystify the pear section on your next trip to the grocery store.
Bartlett: This is a pears pear! Like the saying, “he is a mans man”, this pear is the epitome of a pear. When you get canned or jarred pears this is what you are enjoying. When they are a little under ripe they are great for baking and canning. When ripe they, like most pears, bruise easily. However, if you get past the looks you will enjoy a juicy and flavorful piece of fruit.
Green d’Anjou: Is a great baking pear. It has a firm enough texture to hold up to baking without turning to mush.
Red d’Anjou: My personal favorite of the pear varieties. These are sweeter and milder with just a touch of spice to them. They taste perfect in the fall on salads or just as a snack.
Bosc: The odd man out in shape and color he is easy to spot in the grocery store. These are also great pears for baking and poaching. They have a firm texture that makes them your go to for desserts. Their unique woodsy yet sweet flavor also make them well suited for desserts that call for brandy,wine, spices and cheese.
Seckel: This tiny guy comes in bags typically but it is worth picking up because they have an amazing sweet flavor you won’t find in any other pear. I love all things small so their tiny size draws me in immediately. These are a great addition to an after dinner cheese plate or you can roast them to bring out even more flavor.
Season: fall & winter, some varieties start in August and some, like the d’Anjou, are around until May or June.
What to look for when you buy: You want a fruit that is soft to the touch. This means when you push on the sides it has some give but not so much your finger goes through it. I have found pears bruise easier than most fruit so find the one that looks the best and has minimal nicks. Even with some nicks and bruises they will still taste delicious. That red d’anjou pear in the picture was especially tasty.
How to store it: You can purchase rock hard pears and they will ripen on the counter at home. If you need it to ripen faster put it in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana. Apples and bananas release a gas the helps ripen fruit.
Random side note: Don’t store your apples and bananas next to your pretty cut flowers. The gas these fruits release will make your flowers wilt and die faster.
How to prepare it: Cut in wedges or don’t cut it at all and eat it like an apple.
My favorite way to use it: I like if just sliced and eaten raw as I did in this recipe last week for, Blogsgiving Dinner, Persimmon & Pear salad.
Links to some great pomegranate recipes:
Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry – This calls for small pears so I think I would probably use Seckel or small-sized d’Anjou
Caramelized Pears – These look delicious paired with ice cream. He used a red pear but I think I might go with the Bosc for a unique flavor
Caramel Dipped Pears – I love a caramel apple and the idea of using a pear never crossed my mind! Now that it has I may need this in my life.
Is there a fruit or vegetable that you want to know more about? Leave a note in the comments and I will try to work it into a future how to store & eat post and link to your blog or mention you.0