Asian pears have more in common with apples or peaches than they do with their European pear counterparts. Asian pears can be allowed to ripen on the tree, while European pears must be picked and allowed to ripen off the tree, otherwise they can taste poorly. Additionally, Asian pears are commonly round, unlike European pears with their more-familiar bulbous shape. Here's what you need to know to prepare and eat an Asian pear.
Pick the Asian pear from the tree if it is growing where you can do so. If you are purchasing Asian pears from a supermarket, select pears that have the same firmness as ripe apples, and have even coloring of the skin without blemishes.
Wash the Asian pear thoroughly. If you intend to simply eat the pear, take a big bite, just as you would with an apple. No further preparation is necessary unless the pear is being cooked.
Prepare the pear according to the recipe instructions if you intend to cook the pear. This may include dicing it, slicing it, or peeling off the skin prior to cooking or baking. It is possible to substitute Asian pears into any recipe calling for traditional pears, as well as many apple-based recipes.
Tips & Warnings
- Asian pears are also known as Chinese pears, Japanese pears, Sand pears, Nashi pears and apple pears.
- "The Great Book of Pears"; Barbara Flores; 2000
- "Pears: A Country Garden Cookbook"; Janet Hazen; 1994
- "The Backyard Orchardist: A Complete Guide to Growing Fruit Trees in the Home Garden"; Stella Otto; 1995
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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