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Pears: The ‘Stepchild’ of Fruits

Everyone loves apples, they’re crisp, fresh and taste goddamn good. But what about pears? I’ll be honest I’m really not the biggest fan, but I also very rarely see people eating them. Why is it that we give apples so much praise, yet we shun pears and leave them at the bottom of the fruit pile?

You might be reading this and thinking “you’re talking nonsense, I always eat pears” and that’s cool, at least someone is. But when I’m food shopping, in the UK the aisles are brimming with several varieties of apple, whereas there are very few pears. Those that have been put on display are often bruised and battered. In-order to prove this menial point, I asked several friends which they preferred, to which at least 80% responded that apples were their favourite.

But I think it’s time we give pears some love. Especially as they are seasonal for January and February, and definitely tasting their best. Like apples, the variety of the pears depends on how it tastes and feels. Some, such as Bosc or Asian pears are crisp and often crunchy, Bartlett pears on the other hand are soft and juicy. The main factor for most pears is that they’re sweet, and complement so many other foods. So let’s be nice to them, they were considered a symbol of immortality after all.

Best way to eat pears

Poach them – If you want your pears to last longer then I’d definitely recommend poaching them. This is a super easy method and you can keep the pears for up to 5 days refrigerated after being poached. Usually the firmer varieties such as Bosc pears are the best as they retain their shape.

To poach them, slice the pears into halves or quarters and remove the core. Place them in a pan and cover with water. Then it’s up to you to choose your flavours. Some of the best flavours to compliment poached pear include:

Bring to the boil and cook for 10-20 minutes. To check they are cooked, poke a knife into the pear, if it meets no resistance then you know they’re done.

Grill them – If you’re looking for a way to add pears to a savoury dish then grilling them is the way to go. Start by halving and de-coring them, then glaze the pears in honey or sugar and lemon. Grill for around 10 minutes until soft and there are griddle marks on the insides.

Grilled pears complement pork and sausages extremely well, or you can even add them to a salad to add sweeter notes. That being said, they also taste great with vanilla ice-cream or yoghurt.fruit confesion

Just eat them – You don’t have to do anything fancy with a pear to make it taste good, just ensure it’s ripe and in season. Feel free to peel it, de-core it or go full-blown cave man and just eat it as it is. Currently Comice and Concorde pears are in season and will therefore be the best options for flavour. To ripen, keep them at room temperature and out of the fridge.

Next time you’re heading for a piece of fruit, why not consider a pear? If you’re going to do it, now is the best time, and worst thing that will happen? You’ll be left with sweet flavours running down your chin as you take a juicy bite.

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Eryn Barber

A personal trainer and content writer, with a background writing nutrition and fitness articles. Her main passion is anything and everything to do with food. She is a keen baker and loves writing about her experiences with food. Follow her work-outs on Instagram @erynbarber.

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