The glorious Asian pear

15 Nov.,2022


Red Fragrant Pear

Asian pears were brought here by the Chinese and Japanese immigrants who worked on California’s railroads and mines. First grown in Asia more than 3,000 years ago, this crisp, round fruit is the oldest member of the pear family. Asian pears are as crisp as an apple but as juicy as a pear, with complex flavors that include a hint of butterscotch. Unlike many European pears, the Asian pear is ripe when you buy it. You’ll find many varieties of them, some yellow, some brown, large and small. Look for fragrant pears with a little red blush to the skin, which indicates that they grew on the outside of the tree and got a little more sun. That means higher sugar content.

Most of our Asian pears are grown in the San Joaquin Valley and in Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties, but some hail from El Dorado and Sacramento counties, too. Eat them out of hand, slice them into salads or serve them with a cheese platter. And buy extra: Asian pears will last up to four weeks in your refrigerator.

Michael Marks is the marketing manager for FreshPoint.

In the bins

Salinas, Oxnard
$2.99 to $3.99 per 6-ounce bag
Tips: This cool new vegetable is a cross between ornamental kale and Brussels sprouts.
Holiday Seedless Grapes
San Joaquin Valley
$2.49 to $2.99 per pound
Tips: These grapes are sweet, crunchy and huge — the size of your thumb.
Bell Peppers
Fresno, Coachella Valley
79 to 99 cents each
Tips: At this time of year, bell peppers have thinner walls, which means they won’t store well. Use them quickly.