Quintessentially English, My Pear Orchard
Another wonderful autumn treat after this season's apples, pears come in a range of flavours and textures, but my favourite is the home...
Another wonderful autumn treat after this season's apples, pears come in a range of flavours and textures, but my favourite is the homegrown Conference pear.
Our humble pear orchard has 4 trees, each over 10 years old and collectively produced a couple of hundred pears. 'Tis the harvest season, and so in October, eco-mum and I went pear pickin'.
|Say bismillah: a perfectly ripe pear|
Poach them with fruit juice and vanilla, pair them up with chocolate or slice thinly to bake into pies and toss into salads.
Finding ways of describing the pear, the conference pear to be precise, and its taste and feel is ineffable. Yeah, ineffable.
I found Edward Bunyan's poetic celebration of English fruits from The Anatomy of Dessert to be one of the best,
"It is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption".
Pear Notes: Did You Know?
According to Eat The Seasons, the cultivation of pears goes back some 4,000 years, with origins in the Caucasus region from where they spread west to Europe and east to Asia.
It's interesting that in Ancient times the pear was considered superior to the apple and outnumbered it in varieties, whereas today the apple seems to have more opportunities in the culinary department.
Today the Conference pear accounts for well over 90% of commercial production in England. Imported pears account for around 80% of consumption.
Pips of pears contain amygdalin, a compound that the body breaks into hydrogen cyanide! However, you'd probably need to eat your body weigh in pears to receive a lethal dose. Say bismillah and bite.
Like its cousin the apple, the pear (Pyrus communis in Europe) is a member of the rose family. Botanically speaking a pear is a type of pome, a false fruit in which five carpels (the true fruit) form a core that contain the seeds.
Pears are a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium and copper. Pears are a slow-releasing energy fruit, making them excellent for helping to balance blood sugar levels. *Health notes.
A twisted branch pressured an unusual beautiful paisley shaped pear into being
I have learnt to pick pears when they're just about to be ripe, as they improve in flavour and texture when 'resting'. Ripened pears though have a 'give', a gentle pressure and pluck off the branch, ready for eating (wash first) and cooking, although firmer pears are usually preferable for use in cooking.
Other types of pears include Williams pears, sweet and juicy, Comice - a French variety that's aromatic, and Conference - longer and thinly shaped (or paisley in my case), the skin has a brown speckling and a very sweet flesh.
I am always in awe of the fruits God made. A pear, a simple and otherwise insignificant food source, is a good sign of blessings, and dreaming of eating one would denote a cure for an illness. Scientists too have not fully unlocked the medicinal uses of the humble pear. But, in a moment of childish indulgence, I think I like pears, the bestest because they are like, you can't make them yourself and they taste like, like they were made by a really good chef and that, they fill you up and you get to eat them in, in heaven.
Peace + eco-jihad yo.
More on fruit:
1001 Halal Recipes: Eton Mess
Plant An Olive Tree In Palestine For Eid
Picking British Apples From Our Orchard
RECIPE: Fresh Apple & Spice Square Cookies