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~ Pears and quinces ~ 

Home - The different types of fruit - Tree fruit

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strawberry picture Pear - Quince
strawberry picture Plum

Pyrus communis
Family: Rosaceae

Description & storage
Pear: sweet juicy yellow or green fruit with a rounded shape that becomes narrower towards the stalk.

Pears are picked when they are almost ripe. The fruit has to come off if you lift the fruit vertically.
The late races can be kept for months at a dark place. 
Pears ripen best at room temperature. If you want too keep them a few days you have to keep them in a dark and  cold place.

A pear tree can grow upto 20 m. high. Therefore most pears are grafted on a quince stem so they stay smaller.

Short histotory
Pears are original from Europe and Asia. The first cultivated races were selected from the wild varieties in the prehistoric ages. The Romans knew in the beginning 6 cultivated sorts and later mention 56 races. A late medieval Italian list mentions 232 varieties.
Around 1640 in England only 60 varieties were known. In 1842 more than 700.
In 1860 the American author T.W. Fields mentions 850 races.
This fast increase of pear cultivars during the late 18th century can be ascribed to a few French and Belgian cultivators.

Types and family

A quince is a pear like fruit that only can be eaten cooked. The dictionary describes it as the following - a nice smelling fruit that grows on trees that grow upto 6 m. high.
Quinces are a very old fruittype that are originally from Persia. Quinces are not consumed raw but are used for Marmelo which is stil very popular in Spain and Portugal. This marmelo has been the example for the marmelade we make out of citrusfruit today.

Normal pears are mostly eaten raw and taste great in desserts, the small cooking pears are always cooked and eaten as a vegetable or dessert and quinces are mostly processed to a kind of marmelade.

Other peculiar characteristics

  • Pears contain much kalium and riboflavine;
  • Pears are good for the skin and contain plenty of fibers;
  • 5-a-day-tips:
    - have fresh ripe pears as a side dish with dinner.
    - Vanilla ice-cream with pears, chocolate sauce and cream.
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