Foodstuff: Asian Pear

Asian Pear 1

Asian pears have been appearing fairly regularly in our local Co-op lately. I am not a huge fan of pears generally, although I enjoy pear juice, and I rarely buy or eat the western varieties. I have eaten an Asian pear once before making this current purchase, but it was many years ago and I really can’t now recall my initial impressions (which suggests they weren’t particularly strong, one way or the other). Anyway, after having passed them by several times without being tempted, I decided to pick one up to re-acquaint myself with the fruit…

Asian Pear 2

Here you can see that both on the inside, as well as from the outside, the Asian pear looks very much like an apple, especially in that it lacks the tapering form usually described as ‘pear-shaped’. On sampling, I discovered that the apple-like quality is continued in both the consistency and, to a certain extent, the taste.

Asian Pear 3
Pear slices dusted with a little powdered Ginger

The flesh of this variety of pear is quite fairly succulent but a bit more fibrous than an apple, I found. The taste is only vaguely reminiscent of western pears and is a bit like a very mild ‘Golden Delicious’ apple, albeit less sweet and with a slightly woody flavor in the aftertaste. In all, although I prefer the Asian to the western pear on the whole, I can’t say I found the experience all that exciting and I don’t see buying them as a hand fruit very often. They do, however, interest me for another culinary use…

In Korean cookery, the grated flesh of the Asian pear is often added to meat marinades, not only for the flavor, but also as a tenderizer. When I posted my rendition of Korean-style Beef Ribs some time ago I noted this fact but, not having any pears available, I substituted apple puree instead. The apple worked nicely, I have to say but, now that the Asian pears are regularly available these days I intend to give them a try this way very soon. Naturally, I will post the results when I do…

 

 

9 thoughts on “Foodstuff: Asian Pear”

  1. My absolute favorite pears. I love Asian pears, particularly the variety in your photo. Very juicy, not overly sweet and full of pear flavor. They haven’t been available in DFW the last time I was at the Asian market. I need to go back and see if they are available now. Yum!!!!

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