Pear Buddies Around the World: Taiwan

Perry and Anjoulina recently accompanied me on a visit to Taipei, Taiwan. In between meetings and market visits, we stopped briefly at a traditional Chinese tea house and had time for a photo op at Taipei 101 – an impressive sight as the world’s third tallest skyscraper. Even though Taiwan shoppers are more used to the more crunchy Asian pear varieties, it is still an important market for red skinned pears, as red is an auspicious color in Taiwanese culture. The vibrant Starkrimson and maroon Red Anjou are unique, sweet treats in a country full of what we in the U.S. consider to be exotic fruits! In addition to supermarkets, there are many fruit shops and vendors where fresh fruits are found. We also visited the wholesale market in Taipei, where the owners choose the fruits to sell in their Continue reading

Celebrating CNY with Flying Colors!

In honor of Chinese New Year, I thought we’d visit one of our Asian markets this week.  We recently held a coloring contest in Taiwan.  Sounds simple enough, right?  I know I participated in many a contest at my local grocery store growing up, for every holiday – even taking home 3rd place and $10 prize one year for my bunny and Easter egg masterpiece.  But Taiwan’s dense population (meaning, there’s a lot of people living in a relatively small amount of land) turned into 10,000 entries! Art professors and local artists judged the contest and announced 106 winners.  At first glance, you might not realize that each entry started with the same coloring sheet—so you can see that we received some very customized and creative entries! Don’t forget to pick up some Red Anjou pears for the year of the Continue reading

U.S. Fresh Fruit Carnival

Following the “Spirits of Healthy Living” promotion in Indonesia, this season USA Pears are proud participants of the U.S. Fresh Fruit Carnival in Taiwan!  The promotion teaches Taiwanese shoppers about high quality, delicious, and nutritious fruits from the U.S. To kick-off the promotions that will take place in the cities of Taipei, Taichung, and Central Taiwan, a press conference was held with officers of the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service office in Taiwan.  The celebration included giveaways, kids’ activities, and sampling of many different varieties of U.S. fruits, which, in many cases, are considered exotic in this part of the world. The promotion will last through the end of December (which is National Pear Month here in the U.S., if you hadn’t already heard!), allowing shoppers to participate in nutrition workshops, a lucky draw contest through the official U.S. Fresh Fruit Continue reading

Everyone Deserves a Ripe Pear

In Southest Asia, it’s only natural that people are more used to the Asian pear varieties, which are more crunchy than our USA Pears.  So we offer samples, hand out brochures, and use signs – like the one above from Taiwan – to teach shoppers in supermarkets and fruit shops how to Check the Neck for ripeness so that they can properly enjoy a sweet, juicy USA Pear.  Gently press the neck of the pear with your thumb, and when it slightly yields, it’s ready to eat! Notice that Perry is checking a Red Anjou pear – not a coincidence for Taiwan.  The red USA Pear varieties – mostly Red Anjou and Starkrimson – are unique and becoming more and more popular in Taiwan due to their auspicious color.  Red is lucky in many Southeast Asian countries, especially around Chinese Continue reading