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Asian Pears

Prized highly for its exotic apple-like appearance and pear-like taste, the Asian Pear is a highly nutritious fruit that has delivered time-honored health benefits to people not just in Asia but also throughout the world. Also known as the apple pear, the Asian pear is customarily given as a pricey and precious gift throughout Asia. Because it is such a luxurious fruit, it is good enough to eat on its own immediately after picking.

Season

Late August - Late September

Choosing

Asian Pears, like apples and peaches, should be left to ripen on the tree for best flavor. Once picked, they will keep very well in cold storage. A good-quality Asian Pear is selected by smell rather than variations in firmness. Unlike other pears, Asian Pears are ripe even when they are extremely firm.

Ripening

Place two or more Asian Pears in a small paper bag and roll the top of the bag down tightly. Place the bag in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard or clear corner of your counter space. Allow the fruits to ripen in the bag for approximately three days. The flesh of the fruit, once ripened, feels slightly firm but gives way with pressure. The skin of the ripened Asian Pear should be deep yellowish-orange with brown flecks.

Storing

Asian Pears can be stored for up to one week at room temperature. Place them directly on your kitchen counter-top or store them in a bowl. You can store them for up to three months in your refrigerator or other similarly cold place. Place on the refrigerator shelf or in the fruit drawer in a way that will prevent crushing or bruising.

Freezing

We don't recommend freezing fresh Asian Pears that have not been processed. The juice and fibers will separate in the thawing process, and the results are not at all desired. However, freezing a cooked or processed pear (such as pear sauce) to which sugar has been added will work. Pear pie fillings can also be pre-baked and frozen. Make sure the pears are in a tightly sealed container prior to freezing to help reduce freezer burn and the growth of microorganisms. Wash and peel pears. Cut in halves and remove cores. Slice, if desired. To prevent discoloration, keep pears in an ascorbic acid solution (a solution of 3 grams (3,000 milligrams) ascorbic acid to 1 gallon of cold water). Prepare a very light, light, or medium syrup or pack pears in apple juice, white grape juice, or water.

Tips

1. When selecting, look for a fairly strong and sweet aroma (they will not smell as strong if they are cold) 2. Avoid Asian Pears that are soft, wrinkled or have numerous scuff marks or are obviously bruised. 3. Asian Pears are the oldest known cultivated pear.

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Pick your own

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