The different varieties of pears
Whether you’re just discovering it or are accustomed to its taste, the pear is always a safe choice in a diet. In addition, you can have pears nearly the whole year, some species even being harvested in winter. Let yourself be seduced by the most interesting varieties. Learn to tell, only by sight, to which species belong your favourite varieties. Follow the guide by consulting our small inventory and the most appropriate cooking methods.
The pear tree is part of the Rosaceae family; the European pear’s scientific name being Pyrus communis. Its fruits are divided into two main categories, depending on whether they belong to summer or winter varieties. Generally, the summer pears are picked when mature, while those picked in winter are only eaten after a lapse of storage time. Note that the pear tree has many enemies and diseases. It is therefore important to take steps to avoid them as much as possible. Mushrooms (monilinia fructigena, scab), bacteria (fire blight), and viruses like stony pit, are among the causes of certain diseases, while other attacks stem from small animals such as the codling moth or psyllids. But, rest assured that all possible hardships encountered when growing pear trees are well worth the end result.
The different varieties of pears
Pears are many and varied and they all have characteristics that set them apart. The distinction is mostly made between summer and winter pears. Among those harvested from July to September are the big juicy Williams’ Bon Chretien, of which the non-granular white flesh is very aromatic, the Bartlett, the Beth, the Concorde and the Conference. The pears harvested from October to mid-December are, for example, the Bosc which has light-brown skin. The Conference includes a range of different colours, with green skin, pink flesh and a white heart. The “Beurre-Hardy,” unique with its slightly chubby shape, green skin and rough exterior, may be misleading as to the quality of its flesh, which in fact is very tender and juicy. Packham’s Triumph is from Australia. The Louise Bonne of Jersey presents red dots. In fact, Louise is a little different, yet excellent, but it is rare. Do not forget the Kaiser Alexander, Craig’s Favourite, the Flemish Beauty and the Doyenne du Comice. Winter pears look just as appetizing, as made apparent by species such as the Pass Crassane, round and golden, the Winter Nelis, the Winter Cole, the Eldorado, the Comice, the Beurré Bosc and the Concorde. It’s very interesting to know them all but what is perhaps more important is to learn to appreciate them.
At the market, your mouth waters just by looking at them. You’re absolutely right; some can be consumed as fruit, to eat without restraint. For the more delicate gullets, simply peel the fruits. Enjoy a bite into the tender flesh of the Pass Crassane, the Beurre-Hardy or the Comice. Pear jam is also very popular with all ages. For that purpose, select the Conference. We must especially remember all the varieties of “cooking pears.” Some simple recipes include combining them with good dried or stewed meat. There are pears specifically made for that. Winter pears include, but are not limited to; William’s Bon Chretien, Highland, Comice, El Dorado and Anjou. There also exist varieties of which only the juice is recovered; they are used for making cider. Cooked, they are not tasty and raw they grate the tongue. These include, among others, the Aylton Red, the Thaynton Squash, the Yellow Huffcap, the Newbridge and the Judge Amphlett. An original idea consists of integrating pear chips in salads, sprinkled with lemon juice. Pear desserts are among the most successful culinary dishes. But there are also simple accompaniments, such as chocolate-coated pears, pears spiced with cinnamon or vanilla, and pears served with strawberry sauce or caramel.
Published in Orchard by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011