A friend left me a bag of pears she grew in her orchard and they are one of the tastiest fruits I’ve ever had! Have you ever had a pear that just melts in your mouth?
Think of all the ways you can use pears. You can eat them fresh, bake them as a dessert, can them and even dry them. They’re made into jams or preserves and even fermented into wines and brandy. The best thing about pears is they ripen in autumn or ripening can be delayed into winter for a tasty fruit during a season where good fresh fruit isn’t as easy to get.
The history of the pear began in China where it was taken from the wild and grafted so that it could be easily grown for harvest. They then made their way to Rome where royals grew in orchards as a special treat and called it the fruit of the gods. Pears eventually spread across Europe and made their way to the Northwest United States through the Lewis and Clark expedition. Oregon and Washington State make up most of the pears grown in the United States today.
Pears have a number of health benefits. Even back in Roman times, it was well known that pears helped your digestive system even though they didn’t know why. The fiber and phytonutrients play a big part.
Remember how I always say that the skin of your produce contains most of the nutrients? In the pears case, the skin has 75% of the anti-inflammatory chemicals and antioxidants. These play a key role in improving your immune system and helping prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. Also, people with allergies usually better tolerate pears than other fruits.
Pears contain 24% of the RDA for fiber, are high in vitamin C, A and K, potassium, folic acid, boron and copper. They have almost no fat and are only about 100 calories.
You can select pears by looking for firm fruit that is not too hard, not too soft and free of nicks. If they are on the soft side, they must be eaten right away. Store ripe pears in the refrigerator to keep them from over-ripening. If they are on the firm side, they will continue to ripen. Just leave at room temperature on the counter. Turn them for a couple days until they soften.
The best thing I like about pears is they are a healthy part of a nutritious diet yet they pack a sweet punch that will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. It truly is one of the fruit of the gods.