Fruit and Vegetable Guide
Description: The texture of pears ranges from very soft, creamy, and juicy to firm and crisp. Colors range from brown to gold to green to red.
Selection: Choose firm pears without bruises or soft spots.
Storage and handling: Pears will continue to ripen at room temperature. They are ripe when the flesh surrounding the stem yields slightly to gentle pressure. Store ripe pears in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Wash in a bowl of cold water before eating.
Preparation: Halve or quarter lengthwise, remove stem and core with paring knife. Peel if desired; pear skins tend to toughen upon cooking. Poach by adding pears to hot flavorful liquid (fruit juice or water with citrus peel, sweetener, spices) and simmering, covered, until pears are transparent and just tender, basting occasionally. Halved pears can be poached in the microwave, 6-8 minutes. Bake like apples.
Serving suggestions: Eat fresh raw pears as is or add to salads (SIS, p. 190). Serve pears as part of a cheese, fruit, and nut plate. Use in baked desserts (SIS, p. 216).
Comments: Most pears discolor quickly after cutting, so use them quickly or toss with an acid source such as diluted lemon juice.
Nutrients: Vitamin C; antitumor compound allicin, bioflavonoid anti-oxidants, anthocyanin antioxidants (red-skinned varieties); fiber.
1 lb raw = 2 1⁄4 cups
© 2011 Mennonite Central Committee