Uses: Pears are a delicious treat when served fresh, but they can also be baked, poached, or sautéed.
4 Common Types of Pears
- Anjou pears have a smooth, white flesh, and a yellowish green skin and oval in shape.
- Bartlett pears havea smooth juicy flesh; the skin turns yellow when ripe. Bartlett pears are the preferred variety for snacking or canning.
- Bosc pears have a firm, smooth texture and a slender neck and golden brown skin; it has a crunchy texture that makes it ideal for baking and poaching.
- Comice pear is a green-skinned variety that is considered the sweetest and tastiest pear.
- A good source of vitamin C. Most vitamin C is concentrated in the skin of the fruit.
- A good source of pectin, water soluble fiber that helps control blood cholesterol levels and promotes normal bowel function. Pears are actually higher in pectin than apples.
- Pears are hypoallergenic, making them an excellent fruit selection for someone who has food allergies. Pears are often recommended as a safe fruit to introduce to infants.
- Pear juice can act as an anti-inflammatory agent which can help relieve painful joints and stiff muscles.
- Pear juice is a quick and refreshing energizer.
- Eating a pear when a woman is going through menopause helps prevent osteoporosis and also stabilizes her estrogen levels.
- Pear is a good source of boron and folic acid. People who consume regular amounts of boron are less prone to memory loss. The folic acid an expecting mother gets from eating one pear a day significantly decreases the chances of her child developing a neural tube defect.
Note: Pears should be eaten at the peak of ripeness for the biggest antioxidant effects.
- Most pears don’t significantly change in color when ripe, so go by touch: ripe pears are soft when gently pressed near the stem.
- If you’re buying pears for use in a few days, choose the firm ones, and they’ll also hold up better for baking and cooking.
- One thing that makes pears different from other fruits is that their texture and flavor improves after they’ve been picked.
- Let pears sit at room temperature, near other ripening fruit or in a brown bag with a ripe banana (which stimulates ripening).
- Store ripe pears in the coldest part of the refrigerator to prevent over ripening.
- Most dried pears also contain sulfites, which can provoke asthma or an allergic reaction in susceptible people.
- According to the Environmental Walking Group, non-organic pears have the 10th highest amount of pesticide residue among the 43 most common fruits and vegetables, so it is best to choose organic pears. You can also lessen the pesticide on the skin by soaking freshly washed (on running water) pears on a bowl of water with salt for at least 5 minutes.