Pear Haiku

A trio of pear poems, for your enjoyment: sweet, ripe and juicy you are the perfect breakfast, lunch, snack or dessert red yellow and green a delicious traffic light pears: taste the rainbow you have two best friends but you don’t tell wine or cheese with you, three’s company Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

Six Ways to Slice A Pear

You know pears are versatile—you can eat them fresh, preserve them, and cook them in dishes both savory and sweet. But have you thought about the fun you can have with pear shapes? Whether you’re an adult who likes to play with your food, or a parent who needs help convincing your kids that healthy foods are fun, you’re sure to get some ideas from this blog post. I’ve rounded up six simple ways to slice a pear. This is just a starting point—from these designs, you can coax new recipe ideas, invent delicious desserts, and have fun with your food. Enjoy! Simple slices: Cut, remove the seeds, and eat! Dunk into yogurt or nut butters if desired. Lengthwise slices: This cut is great for sliding into quesadillas and sandwiches. Crosswise slices: The seeds make pretty stars with this cut. Continue reading

Check the Neck

Did you know that pears don’t ripen on the tree? They’re harvested when they’re mature, although not ripe. Once off the tree, they ripen from the inside out. If you want your pears to ripen, don’t keep them in the refrigerator. Instead, place them on the counter near other fresh fruits, like bananas, or in a brown paper bag. Bananas naturally give off a gas called ethylene that speeds up the ripening process. To tell if a pear is ripe, check the neck, or the stem end of the pear, by applying slight pressure with your thumb. If it yields, it’s ripe, sweet, and juicy! Here are some more quick tips: •    Most pears don’t change colors when ripening. Only the Bartlett pear changes from green to a bright yellow. •    Once a pear is ripe, it can be refrigerated Continue reading

New report shows obesity rates still high, but stable

A study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that obesity rates in the United States did not increase over the last few years. Based on data collected between 2007 and 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adult prevalence of obesity in the United States is still high – approximately 34% are obese. Of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, 32% are also too heavy. Although these numbers are still astounding, the rates have stabilized and are mostly unchanged from previous reports. To healthcare professionals, this study is promising in terms of the nation’s deteriorating health, but by no means has the obesity epidemic resolved. Despite this reported stabilization, there is no sign of improvement. Indeed, data still show that more than two-thirds of adults are above a normal weight. Continue reading

Filling Your Kitchen with Love: The Joys of Home Preserving

Memories…that’s what life is all about.  My mom told me that other day as I was headed out of town for a birthday weekend in Las Vegas.  It sounds funny, but I was reminded of some of the responses we received from our e-newsletter contest last month because really, whether you’re partying in Vegas or bonding with your family in the kitchen, the memories we make with each other stay with us our whole lives. We asked our readers to tell us why they love preserving, (or why they would like to start) and were overwhelmed by the touching responses we received.  Our winner, Amanda from Mississippi, said this: “I grew up watching my mother and grandmother preserving fruits and vegetables. I remember going with them and picking the fruits and vegetables from our gardens and trees. I loved the way we would all go together Continue reading

Now In Stores: Bartlett & Starkrimson USA Pears!

Have you spotted them yet?  Green Bartletts, red Bartletts and Starkrimson pears are here!  These pears are all sweet, juicy and have delightful aromas. You may have heard these varieties referred to as “summer pears,” and that’s because they’re among the first varieties to be harvested and hit the stores each year.  Some folks don’t know that as green Bartletts ripen they become yellow, and that they’re one of the only varieties that change dramatically in color as they ripen.  Of course, some people like their green Bartletts a little firmer and greener than others.  As for me, I like them pretty ripe and yellow!  The red Bartletts also change, but not as much.  They go from a dark red (often with light vertical striping) to a beautiful bright red.  If you’ve never tried a Starkrimson, you really should give Continue reading

Eau de vie de poire (also known as pear brandy)

If you live in, near or are visiting Portland and consider yourself a pear lover (who doesn’t?) you simply must visit Clear Creek Distillery.  The owner, Steve McCarthy, has been making pear brandy for over twenty years, and more recently began making pear liqueur as well.  Steve and his crew crush and ferment whole Bartlett pears (grown on Steve’s family farm in Oregon), then distill the pure fruit mash in their German-made pot stills.  Here’s a fun fact I learned on my tour – it takes 30 pounds of Bartletts to make one 750ml bottle of pear brandy!  Now, you can buy one of these bottles for about 40 bucks (smaller sizes are also available), or you can bite the bullet and spring for the Pear-in-the-Bottle version for about twice as much.  This is a beautiful product because they actually Continue reading

A Gift From Our Pear-loving Peanut Pals

We went to the PMA (Produce Marketing Association) foodservice show a couple of weeks ago in beautiful Monterey, California, and boy was it grand.  Imagine a sea of colorful fruit, veggie and nut-themed booths with friendly people in them who are all giving away tasty treats featuring their produce – everything from guacamole, to fruit smoothies, salads, chocolate covered fruit – you name it, and I was one of those friendly people!   We were right in the middle of all the action with our fancy new USA Pears booth, handing out our delectable cupcakes. Ah yes, it was a produce dream-world of magic.  Among my favorite booths was the National Peanut Board’s.  They were serving up a super-delicious pear and peanut smoothie, and were kind enough to share their recipe with us.  So enjoy this refreshing and slightly exotic-tasting drink, and be sure to visit Continue reading