Pears: Fall's Other Fruit

More
zeke_nov16_pearsbowl_post.jpg

Photo by geishaboy500/Flickr CC


In fall, apples dominate as the season's fruit. The profusion of different varieties, the revival of heirloom varieties, the apple pies and other baked goods, the ciders made from different apples, and apple butters make the tasting of fall fruits wonderful.

But there is the other fall fruit--pears. While Asian Pears have become so accepted they can be found in many mainstream groceries, compared to apples there are fewer different kinds of pears--at least in the grocery and farmer's markets. Nevertheless, there are new pears are worth sampling.

Seckel pears are small, a little bigger than a golf ball and green-gray skin tone with reddish blushes. They are very aromatic and have a bit of the grainy texture in the skin. They have an appley flavor but are very sweet, sometimes called the sugar pear.

One of the great things is to find new varieties, and I found two new pears that I really like.

Bosc pears are large and green skins going to brown when ripening. If you like firm pears, these are the variety for you. They do have a gritty texture but can leave a slight film in the mouth.

Red Bartlett is a red to red-brown pear that is best when they give off a sweet aroma and are soft bordering on mushy. It is smooth not grainy but can leave a bit of a film in the mouth. When perfect is has a very sweet flavor.

Comice is a French pear. It is roundish, colored green with brown spots and the skin tends to be thick. These tend to be juicy and drippy. When ripe they are delicious and sweet.

One of the great things is to find new varieties, and I found two new pears that I really like.

We have all gotten used to so-called Asian pears. The typical big brown balls in the stores are the Korean pear. I was recently treated to a Japanese version called a Nataka. Much smaller with yellow-gold skins and small spots. The texture was clean more like that of a light apple. It was fantastic--much more flavorful than the usual Asian pear. Whereas the Korean pear tends to be dry, the Nataka is juicy.

My new favorite pear: Magness. This is a new pear to me. It is a cross between Seckel and Comice pears. Thus its size is bigger than Seckel but smaller than the baseball-sized Comice. Its texture is softer than the Bosc but not mushy. This is the pear for wine-lovers who like complexity. It has a sweet, lemony-citrus type flavor. The taste is long and lingers in the mouth.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ezekiel J. Emanuel

Ezekiel Emanuel is director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and heads the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

From This Author

Just In