Table of content A-Z

 

pear

 

Botanical name: Pyrus communis


Birne

 

The pear originated in the Caucasus. The cultivated varieties known today developed from the wild varieties that exist there and from the wild pear (from Europe). The first cultivated pears are supposed to have grown in Greece. Today, the pear can be found in all temperate zones of the world. The chief growing countries are France, Italy, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, the USA and China. Of all pears grown in Europe, 70% come from Italy and Spain; a further 25% are from France, Portugal, Holland and Belgium. Those on the German market are mainly from Italy and France. The commercial cultivation of pears in Germany is negligible compared with that of apples.

 

Availability

Pears are available all year round. Domestic produce is most plentiful from August to the middle of November.

 

Appearance, taste, characteristics

The pear is a fleshy fruit. Depending on the variety, its shape ranges from spherical to pyriform to campanulate. The skin is usually green but sometimes also yellow or reddish. Inside the pear is a core with small, brown seeds. Pears have less acidity than apples and taste distinctly sweeter.

 

* Abate Fetel

- yellow-green to yellow skin

- mild aroma

- well-suited to be eaten fresh

- available all year except in summer

 

* Alexander Lucas

- shiny yellow with red cheeks

- sweet, very juicy; little aroma

- good winter dessert pear

- very good for eating fresh

 

* Anjou

- greenish, with red or red-brown russeting; large

- sweet, juicy

- suitable for eating fresh and for cooking

- ripe for picking end of September to beginning of October, best eaten between November and January

 

* Bosc

- relatively large, oblong green fruit, almost always covered with light, cinnamon-coloured russeting

- pulp yellowish to white

- ripe for picking and eating: mid September to end of April; does not keep long

- sweet, juicy, fine-grained; slightly sour

- suitable eaten fresh, preserving, or drying

 

* Clapps Favourite

- yellow-green skin

- juicy, mildly spicy flavour

- very good eaten fresh

 

* Conference

- green russeted skiin

- juicy, mellow, slightly aromatic flavour

- very good eaten fresh and for further processing

- available chiefly in October; stores well

 

* Passe-Crassane

- grey-green, hard skin with russeting

- juicy, grainy, with little aroma

- good eaten fresh

 

* Forelle

- green-gold, red on one side; quite small

- grainy pulp; crispy and sweet

- suitable for eating fresh and cooking

 

* Gellerts butter pear

- yellow-green skin with brown russeting

- juicy, sweet, very fine aroma

- very good eaten fresh and for further processing

 

* Fondante de Charneau

- yellow skin

- juicy; mild, sweet flavour

- very good eaten fresh and for further processing

 

* Jules GuyotJules Guyot

- light-green, yellow skin

- sweet but unaromatic flavour

- does not keep long

 

* Japanische Birne / NashiNashi, Japanese pear

- shape between apple and pear; light yellow

- pulp light, firm and grainy

- flavour a mixture of apple and pear, mildly aromatic (see also here)

 

* Packham's Triumph

- dark-yellow skin

- juicy, sweet flavour

- very good eaten fresh

- almost always available except in winter

 

* Vereinsdechant (Comice)

- green skin, reddish on the side to the sun

- juicy, finely mellow, very aromatic flavour

- very good eaten fresh

 

* Williams (= Bartlett)

- light-yellow skin

- juicy, fine flavour with typical aroma

- good eaten fresh, but also for fruit brandy or as preserves (the majority of tinned pears are Bartletts)

 

Ingredients

Owing to their sweet taste, it is frequently assumed that pears contain more sugar and thus more calories than apples. In fact, however, there are hardly any differences between the two.

The fibre content of pears is overall somewhat higher than that of apples, but they contain less pectin.

 

Pears also contain various flavonoids, which are found mainly in and beneath the skin.

 

100 g contain:

 

 

Pear, fresh

Pear, conserve (incl. juice)

Pear, dried7

Energy (kcal)

52

671

252

Water (g)

83

80.8

n.a.*

Protein (g)

1

0.3

2

Fat (g)

<1

0.1

1

Carbohydrates (g)

12

16.11

60

Fibre (g)

3

n.a.*

14

Vitamin C (mg)

5

22

15

Vitamin A (RE) (µg)

3

1.72

10

Folic acid (µg)

14

5.92

39

Potassium (mg)

125

653

424

Sodium (mg)

2

6.1

10

Calcium (mg)

9

7

43

Magnesium (mg)

7

4

34

Iron (mg)

0.3

0.4

1.3

*n.a.: no data available

Note: As this is a natural product, and as the information is taken from various sources and therefore from different analyses, there may be fluctuations in the nutritional facts. The minerals in particular may fluctuate, since the plant takes these from the soil, the composition of which itself can vary. Its mineral content is influenced, for instance, by fertilization. The footnotes are explained here.

 

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Unripe pears should be ripened at home at room temperature before they are eaten. The colour of a pear differs with the variety and is therefore not a criterion of ripeness or quality. Be aware that particularly soft pears are very sensitive to pressure, and always handle them carefully. Like apples, pears give off ethylene (ripening gas) - considerably less than apples, however - and should therefore be stored separately so that other fruits are not affected.

 

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Pears are mostly eaten raw. Further processing as preserves, compote, or dried fruit, however, is quite typical for pears.

 

Pears are also popular as a dessert with chocolate sauce, ice cream or red wine. They are a good accompaniment to game dishes, filled with cranberries, for example. The pear is also valued highly for fruit brandy, or schnapps; most suitable for this purpose is the variety "Williams Christ" or Bartlett. Williams Christ brandy made of ripe fruit is one of the premium fruit brandies.

 

Seasoning tip

Lemon zest, cloves, cinnamon sticks, ginger and vanilla all go well with pears.

 

 

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