Valley Bounty: Pears

We tend to think of pears as the also-ran fall fruit, the apple’s palatable but less absorbing relative: the Frank Stallone to the apple’s Sly, the Donnie Wahlberg to the apple’s Mark, etc. I’m inclined to think that this is because we’ve allowed the similarities between the two to eclipse their differences in our minds. So rather than focus on the ways in which pears are not apples, let’s reflect on the pear’s most pear-ish strengths.

Unlike apples, I prefer to let my pears ripen until they’re fairly soft — they benefit from being allowed some time for their starches to break down into sugar, meaning the fruit when you eat it tends to be sweeter and less tart than some apples. My favorite way to eat pears is simply sliced and served with something salty, like cheddar or salami. Cooking pears (especially Anjou or Bosc pears, which hold up well in the oven) is another great way to convert starch to sugar, this time through caramelization. Scoop the core out of the pear and stuff with whatever you like (I suggest chopped bacon and bleu cheese, or walnuts and honey) and roast for around 45 minutes.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)