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The juicy-crunchy temptation, right from the fruit tree
When pears are in season, pear recipes for cakes, compote and other delicacies are hugely popular. Pears are high in nutrition and rich in flavour at the same time.
If you like sweet fruits, you are likely to love pears. They contain a significantly lower degree of fruit acid than apples, which does not come at the expense of their sweetness. Both raw and cooked, these pomaceous fruits can be made into wonderful baby food or a light snack for adults. The nutritious fruits only contain 58 calories per 100 grams. As is the case with all fruit, cooking significantly decreases the nutrient content of pears.
Pears – academically referred to as pyrus (from the Latin pirum) – belong to the pome family and are thought to originate from the Caucasus. Although pears are in season in autumn, they are available in the supermarket all year round due to their worldwide cultivation. In Switzerland, they are picked from 15 to 20 m high pear trees. During the winter months, countries such as Argentina, Spain, Italy, and France supply pears to Central Europe.
The flowers of the pear tree are white and there are about 2,000 pear varieties worldwide, some of the most common being the:
|Class||Pomaceous fruit/Rosaceae plant|
|Calories||58 kcal per 100g|
|Nutrients||12.2g carbohydrate, 2.3g fibre, 0.3g fat, 0.4g protein per 100g|
|Storage||store in a cool place, for instance, in a fridge, preferably between 0-5 °C|
|Shelf life||up to 5 days (ripe pears)|
If you want to harvest pears, it is important to make sure that the fruits have not yet reached their full ripeness by the time you pick them. Very ripe fruits are extremely delicate and could get damaged during harvesting. After the pears have been harvested, the right storage is of great importance, bearing in mind that pears go through an after-ripening process.
If you store pears at room temperature, you should aim to eat them relatively soon. When it comes to ripe pears, it is advisable to store them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for about five days. Unripe pears last much longer, provided they are stored in a cool place. If you buy a large number of pears, your fruit bowl should only contain the pears you plan to eat in the near future. The rest belong in the fridge, where the ripening process is slowed down.
If you want to eat pears raw, you should wash them thoroughly beforehand. Glass jars with preserved pears have a particularly long shelf life. Moreover, it is possible to dry or dehydrate pears as a way of prolonging their shelf life. To make dried pears yourself, place them either in the oven or inside special dehydration equipment until the pears are dried, but still flexible. In addition, pears are suitable for roasting or braising.
In order to preserve the nutrients during cooking, pears can be steamed. If you want to make a tender puree or a fruity-sweet jam from pears, you should blanch them beforehand. This makes them easier to peel and the fruit is then easier to process. In hearty dishes, pears are quite popular in combination with beans, potatoes, bacon, soft goat's cheese, or nuts.
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