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Luscious, All-American Pears

By Ann Hattes
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The United States is the second largest pear-producing country in the world, and Oregon and Washington comprise the nation’s largest pear growing region producing 84% of all fresh pears grown in the United States.

yum_pears0712Pears are an excellent source of fiber (24% DV) and a good source of vitamin C (10% DV) for only 100 calories per medium-sized pear. Sweet and juicy with no fat, no sodium, and no cholesterol, pears are a perfect choice for a snack as well as for any course of any meal of the day.

The United States is the second largest pear-producing country in the world, and Oregon and
Washington comprise the nation’s largest pear growing region producing 84% of all fresh pears grown in the United States.

Bosc pears are a favorite pick for both family cooks and professional chefs. With its elegant
shape, cinnamon-brown skin, crisp texture, and honey-sweet flavor, this special pear variety is reached for as an ingredient in pear recipes both savory and sweet. With its firmer texture than other pear varieties, it is an excellent choice for cooking. It holds its shape, flavor, and texture well in high heat applications. It’s slow to give off its juice when baked, so your pear pie or cake won’t become soggy. Some recipes call for pears to be “firm, yet ripe.” The Bosc pear is one that meets this requirement handily at any stage of ripeness.

Like other pear varieties, the Bosc ripens after it is harvested. This means that Bosc pears may be available at the grocer in a firm, under-ripe state. For those that prefer a crisper piece of fruit, this is the pear for you. The Bosc has a honey-sweet flavor even when it’s under-ripe. For those that prefer a juicier pear, then “check the neck for ripeness” as growers advise. Press the neck or stem end, of the Bosc, and if it yields to gently pressure, then it’s ripe, sweet, and juicy. If the pear feels firm, then just leave at room temperature to ripen, and “check the neck” daily. Only refrigerate pears if you want to slow ripening.

The Simple Art of Eating Well Cookbook (Countryman Press) has a recipe for Roasted Parsnip Soup that includes pears, the earthy flavor of parsnips going well with fragrant pears. Carrots and even rutabaga work well in this soup as well. Can be served as a first course or light main dish.

USA Pears also suggest a couple of recipes to try like glazed pear and goat cheese crostini and sautéed Bosc pears. For additional culinary insPEARation, visit www.usapears.org and/or follow USA Pears on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usapears and Twitter@USApears.

 


Recipes:

Roasted Parsnip Soup with Pears

Balsamic-Glazed Pear and Goat Cheese Crostini

Sautéed Bosc Pears

 

Ann Hattes has over 25 years experience writing about both travel and food for publications both in the US and internationally. A senior living in Wisconsin, she’s a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and the Midwest Travel Writers Association.


Meet Ann