There’s more you can do with pears than just eating them out of hand or poaching them (although we do love a good poached pear). Read on to learn more about this refreshing fruit and some innovative recipes to prepare with them.
What are Pears?
Pears are a fruit that grow on trees and shrubs belonging to the Rosaceae family. The shape of the pear is round at the bottom while tapering at the other stem end and can come in a variety of colors. Among other fruits in the same family, pears are quite popular owing to their unique shape and the phrase “pear-shaped”, which is often used to describe other objects. Around 3000 pear varieties are present around the world that differ in taste, appearance, and culinary uses. However, Anjou, Bosc, and Bartlett (Williams’s pear) are commonly found pear varieties in the United States.
While pears are predominantly consumed fresh, they are also available canned, juiced, and even dried. Pears are known as one of the ancient cultivated fruits; pears have been grown in China since 2000 BC. Today, pears are widely produced in China, Europe, and the United States. Among many regions, pears are significant in France where they are also used to create a special beverage called Perry.
What Do Pears Taste Like?
Pears offer an overall sweet juicy flavor coupled with tangy and sometimes spicy undertones. While some pears are sweeter, others are sour depending upon their variety. Pears taste similar to apples, but are tender, sweeter, juicer, and offer a nice grainy crunch. The texture is an unusual combination of smooth-rough. The grittiness in pears comes from the stone cells that develop in the fruit as they mature. While some people admire a more mealy textured pear such as Bosc or Anjou, many choose to munch on a buttery-smooth varieties like Comice, Barlett, or a Concorde.
Much like apples, fresh pears go exceptionally well in salads and sweet recipes. Poaching pears until super tender, doubles their flavor, turning them into a quick and yummy pear dessert. Try out our classic recipe for Poached Pears with Greek Yogurt featuring ripe pears that are cooked with apple juice and aromatic spices, and topped with yogurt, and granola. This recipe can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert.
You can also bake with this fresh fruit, turning it into a fluffy pear cake, pear pie, pear cobbler, or even a pear galette. Try swapping pineapples with sliced pears in this recipe to enjoy a pear-packed version of the famous upside-down cake. Shredded pears can be leveraged into pear jam and sweet-sour chutneys. Pear juice, on the other hand, is used to prepare pear jelly.
Thankfully, this refreshing fruit tastes equally awesome in savory recipes. You can pair it up with meat, vegetables, and other fruits to create a magical stew or a perfect stir-fry dish. Chicken, beef, bacon, Brussel sprouts, potatoes, ginger, apples, apricots, vanilla, and nuts are all among the core ingredients to uplift any savory pear recipe. Our recipes for Korean Short Ribs and Beef Bulgogi are the perfect opportunity to try out the savory side of pears.
The culinary use of pear is not restricted to meals as they are utilized in some amazing drinks. Besides simple pear juice, ginger pear bourbon cocktails, pear martinis, pear sangria, and pear mojitos are quite popular beverages. Pear juice is also fermented to produce “Perry” or “pear cider”, an alcoholic drink that’s often artificially carbonated and sold in many regions of the world, especially England and France.