If your pear knowledge begins and ends with "those green ones," read on for everything you need to know about the apple's fragrant cousin!
- The pear is not only related to the apple, but also the rose.
- There are thousands of varieties of pears, cultivated over millenia.
- Skin on, pears are a good source of fibre.
- The fruit also boasts plenty of vitamin C. In fact, one pear contains 11% of your daily intake!
Abate (a.k.a. Fetel) Pear
- Once ripe, Abate pears soften quickly, so only buy as many as you plan to eat in the immediate future.
- This variety of pear is rich in fructose so it's a good option when you need a burst of energy.
- Abates are best eaten raw in salads or paired with cheese.
- It should come as no surprise that Abates work well with Italian cheeses (e.g. pecorino Toscano or Sardo, but not salty Romano); they were originally cultivated in Italy.
- They don't change colour when ripe. Instead, check the neck: Gently press the flesh around the stem of the pear; if it has a little give and is soft, it's ready to go.
- Bartletts are best eaten raw, canned, poached or baked. They also work wonderfully in jams or jellies.
- They're marked by their quintessential pear flavour and sweet aroma.
- The Bartlett pear's skin brightens as it ripens.
- Bartlett pears can be subsituted for apples in most recipes.
- The redhead of the pear world! The Forelle's red freckles, which appear as it ripens, set it apart from other varieties.
- Forelles are good for poaching because they're firmer than other types and hold their shape well when cooked.
- Best eaten raw, straight-up!
- They look like apples but taste like pears.
- Choose Asian pears based on their smell, not their firmness. Look for a strong and sweet aroma (Note: Their aroma will not be as strong if cold).
- Their shape is more egg-like than pear.
- They're perfect for baking into desserts, such as tarts.
- Ripen Anjou pears at room temperature in a sealed plastic bag alongside ripe bananas. Store them in the fridge until you're ready to eat. Anjou pears don't change colour much when ripe.