December is the National Pear Month. Pears are delicious, and nutritious. Pears come in different shapes, sizes, texture, colors, and flavors. We find red and green Anjou pears easily recognized by their egg-shaped appearance and especially available through the summer months. Bartlett pears the typical “pear shape” either yellow or red, are very aromatic and available December to January or February. Bosc pears are long, with curved steam and elongated neck that widens to create the typical pear shape, with a very distinguishable cinnamon brown color. Comice pears comes in all sizes, mostly in green, and occasionally have small to large areas with red blush; the jumbo sizes are ideal for gift boxes. Concorde pears are sweet and juicy even when the flesh is still firm. The Forelles pears are regularly bell-shaped, and larger than Seckel pears, with a very unique red freckles and deliciously crisp and moist. Seckels pears are round and tiny with olive green skin, and often exhibit a dark maroon blush that can cover the whole pear. Starkrimson pears are red with a mild, sweet and delicate floral aroma. These pears are very juicy, ideal for snacking, and to add flavor, and color to salads.
Pears are available all year around, and can be eaten fresh, added to salads or cheese trays, with breakfast items such cereal and pancakes, and so on. Other culinary uses of pears include baking, roasting, grilling, poaching, and sautéing. When not eating fresh, or during cooking or baking, we can also go the extra mile in preserving and canning pears for special uses.
Eating styles can be different based on lifestyles, but eating a variety of healthy foods is important. Pears can be part of a healthful meal plan that provides a great deal of nutrition. Pears are sodium, fat, and cholesterol free. Pears are an excellent source of fiber, and provide potassium and vitamin C. In terms of calories, eating a medium-size pear is a good nutrition investing for about 100 calories. During the holiday season enjoy and have fun by incorporating pears to your favorite dishes for extra nutrition and flavor.
Araceli Vázquez, MS, RDN, LD
References: http://usapears.org/Accessed Dec 12, 2017.