Bringing your lunch with you just got a lot cooler.

Good news for pear lovers:  Now through November 15, when you purchase a BUILT lunch tote online at, you’ll receive a free pear packer, courtesy of USA Pears.  We like to say the Pear Packer eliminates the “squish factor” that ripe pears can suffer without proper protection! Visit for details, and don’t forget to pack ripe, juicy USA Pears in your new lunch tote! Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

Celebrate Pears this Weekend – Fruit Loop Style!

The Hood River Valley is world renowned for growing incredible pears, and the members of the Hood River Fruit Loop are PROUD of it!  This weekend, September 19-20, is the official Pear Celebration where you can taste more than 18 varieties of pears, sample special pear desserts, drink pear cider and wine, tour pear orchards and more.  Check out the map and list of attractions at  Can’t make it to Hood River for the Pear Celebration this weekend? Never fear, because several of the Fruit Loop farms offer gifts by mail.  We’re talkin’ canned pears, pear butter, pear sauce, dried pears, pear wine, and gift boxes of fresh pears, of course! Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

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

Joy to the World

Need a break from your work day?    Here’s a little piece of advice.  Pay a quick electronic visit to one of the best food blogs I’ve seen,  Joy the Baker.  Joy the Baker is…well, a baker from Los Angeles who dreams up amazing recipes, takes drop-dead gorgeous photos, and consequently has an extremely loyal following.  Let’s put it this way, she can take a photo of a random pile of chopped nuts and make it look like a work of art.  Her recipes range from the simply-sweet Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies, to one-of-a-kind creations like “Peabody’s Grandmother’s Lime Conspiracy Pie with marshmallows,” to the mouthwateringly beautiful “Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping.”  So with Joy’s permission, we’re pleased to bring you this recipe from her incredible repertoire! Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping      adapted from Gourmet, December 1992 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 Continue reading

Flaunt Your Fruit!

Here’s a cute and easy way to make inexpensive, custom place cards for a wedding, shower, holiday celebration or dinner party.  Simply cut out leaf shapes from a thick piece of paper with your guests’ names printed or hand-written on it.  Punch a small hole in each of your “leaves,” thread ribbon, raffia or string through the holes and tie around the pears’ stems.  Tie and cut the ribbon and voila, you have elegant yet trouble-free place cards that double as favors for guests to take home! Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

Tears for Pears: A Recap of Our Student Chef Competition

Taste.  Texture.  Creativity.  Originality.  Appearance.  Oh and one more very important thing:  Prominent Use of Fresh USA Pears.  These were the criteria our three culinary student finalists were judged on last week as they traveled from their respective citites to Portland to vie for first place in the USA Pears Student Culinary Competition.  After receiving entries from around the country, we narrowed down the entrants to three student rockstars:    Dallas Hinesly from Texas Culinary Acadamy in Austin, Texas, who submitted “Sweet Potato and Pear Gnocchi with Grilled Pork and a Balsamic Pear Glaze”   Nicole Mau from South Seattle Community College in Seattle, Washington, who submitted “Red Anjou Poire Frite”     Andrea Howard from Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, who submitted “Pear Risotto & Pear Poached in Red Wine”   Here’s how it went down: In the Continue reading