Natural Food Spotlight: Pears
Posted on Monday, September 9th, 2013 at 8:00 am
Now that fall has arrived new and different types of produce are coming into season. One of the tastiest fall additions to our menus, to the surprise of many, is pears! September and October bring an even wider plethora of delectable pears to choose from. Here are our favorite varieties, what types of dishes they should be used in, how to pick the best pear ever, and some tasty recipe inspiration.
The Anjou pear is the year-round go-to pear that can be found pretty much in every grocery store. It comes in red and green varieties which can add some great color and texture to your favorite salads or pies. In fact these pears are so good many of us eat them on their own!
This pear is definitely known for giving off that typical “pear” scent we’re all so familiar with. The Bartlett pear comes in both red and green colors and has a deep and flavorful taste. This variety of pear tastes great simply on its own or it can go well in cooked dishes too.
The Bosc pear can be identified by a brown russet skin that is always firm (even at peak ripeness). The firmness of this type of pear makes it perfect for poaching and preserve making.
Comice pears are definitely known for their juiciness and taste. This pear has a delicious and sweet juice, but, due to its texture, it is not the ideal choice for cooking.
The Concorde pear is known for its firmness and resistance to browning once it has been cut. The texture of this fruit makes it the perfect choice for pies and cooked dishes, whereas its resistance to browning makes it a good choice for cheese platters.
Forelle pears can be identified by their beautiful green skin which is spotted with red freckles. It’s tart taste and crispness make it a unique treat perfect for fall!
It’s easy to remember the Starkrimson pear because of its crimson color and juicy texture. This variety of pear has a floral aroma and a white flesh that is typically eaten either raw or in a salad.
Picking the Perfect Pear
If your’e not familiar with pears or how to pick them we’ve got some quick tips for you. When selecting a pear it doesn’t necessarily have to be ripe. Pears ripen fairly easily and should be stored at room temperature if you’d like them to soften. When selecting a pear it’s best to pick a fruit with clear and unblemished skin. Gently press near the stem of the fruit and feel for a slight give. If you plan on eating a pear raw they’re generally best and juiciest when consumed at room temperature. However, if you’d like to stave off further ripening, for at least a few days, be sure to store your pears in a refrigerator.
Can’t think of any recipes to use with pears? We’ve got you covered. Check out Cooking Light’s top pear recipes for some mouth-watering inspiration.