Organic Warren Pears from Frog Hollow Farms
Season: August to November in Northern California
Flavor: Sweet, juicy but mild.
Storage: Look for fruit that are unblemished and are slightly firm when you purchase them, unless you plan to eat them right away. They also smell fragrant. You can allow pears to ripen by leaving out at room temperature, uncovered, for a day or two; or you can stall the fruit’s ripening by keeping it in the refrigerator. In either case, don’t suffocate the fruit for long with airtight plastic. Without oxygen, pears will degrade faster and their natural moisture may encourage mold.
How to use: Pear ripen from the inside out; if the outside looks fully ripe then the inside may be too ripe! What pairs with pears? The answer seems to be endless. Fresh pears can be enjoyed on their own, as a snack, or in multitudes of ways. The refreshing sweetness of pears adds complexity to savory foods well, like a charcuterie or cheese board. Serving pears fresh showcases their crispness, which is lost in cooked preparations.
Like apples, though, pears can be cooked in baked goods like pies and tarts. They can be canned or turned into preserves and take on additional flavors in the process. Simply poached peeled pears in wine or brandy, until meltingly soft but still retaining their shape and serve with chocolate sauce.
Nutrition: Pears are an excellent source of dietary fiber and carbohydrates. It offers a sampling of essential minerals, including copper, iron, magnesium and calcium, although much of this nutrition is found in the fruit’s skin. The flesh alone is a good source of potassium and Vitamin C, although pears are not as strong of a source of antioxidants like higher-acidity fruits and leafy green vegetables.