SCIENTIFIC NAME

Pyrus communis (European), Pyrus pyrifolia (Asian)

CLASSIFICATION

Fruit

SEASON

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

About

Buttery and smooth, the pear is a delicious, sweet and filling fruit that is extremely versatile and healthy. High in fibre, the pear has the lowest acid level of any fruit making it the perfect snack for allergy suffers and young children. Sweet and juicy it partners beautifully with cheese and stars in salads, desserts and baking.

The European Pear is buttery, smooth and sweet to taste while the Asian pear is crispy, tart and less sweet.

Pears are available from February to September. In particular, Williams or Bartlett Pears are picked early and are available from January to May followed by Buerre Bosc from March to October and Packham Pears from March to December.

Look for clear, wrinkle-free skin, that is firm to touch.

European Pears have a characteristic, distinct ripening phase during which they rapidly change from a hard green fruit with little juice or flavour to a ripe, yellow, soft and luscious fruit full of juice and flavour.

Check ripeness by colour and aroma.

If unripe, store in a paper bag to speed up ripening.

Once ripe, they can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days for optimum taste and flavour.

The pear is a cook’s delight due to its versatility. It can be eaten straight away or used in a multitude of recipes from salads to desserts.

Allow the fruit to warm to room temperature and wash when ready to prepare.

For use in salads or for cooking it is best to cut the pear in half and remove core and seeds with a paring knife. The skin contains a lot of the fruit’s fibre. Peel the pears if you intend to cook with them as they will become tough during the process.

For quick stewing, cut the halves into quarters and the quarters into eighths.

For use in salads toss the pear in lemon or lime juice to prevent fruit browning.

Enjoy pears fresh or use in a vast array of desserts such as crumbles, strudels, and pies. Bake and serve with a caramel sauce, stew and use in compotes and sauces. Slice fresh and incorporate both in sweet and savoury salads or serve on a cheese platter.

The pear is a cook’s delight due to its versatility. It can be eaten straight away or used in a multitude of recipes from salads to desserts.

Allow the fruit to warm to room temperature and wash when ready to prepare.

For use in salads or for cooking it is best to cut the pear in half and remove core and seeds with a paring knife. The skin contains a lot of the fruit’s fibre. Peel the pears if you intend to cook with them as they will become tough during the process.

For quick stewing, cut the halves into quarters and the quarters into eighths.

For use in salads toss the pear in lemon or lime juice to prevent fruit browning.

Enjoy pears fresh or use in a vast array of desserts such as crumbles, strudels, and pies. Bake and serve with a caramel sauce, stew and use in compotes and sauces. Slice fresh and incorporate both in sweet and savoury salads or serve on a cheese platter.

Nutritional Chart

PEARS Bartlett Packham Nashi
Nutrients Value per 100 g  Value per 100 g  Value per 100 g 
Proximates
Energy, including dietary fibre 230 kJ 227 kJ 209 kJ
Moisture 84.2 g 83.8 g 86.7 g
Protein 0.3 g 0.3 g 0.4 g
Nitrogen 0.05 g 0.05 g 0.06 g
Fat 0 g 0 g 0.1 g
Ash 0.3 g 0.3 g 0.2 g
Dietary fibre 4.3 g 2.4 g 2.1 g
Fructose 6.7 g 6.8 g 6 g
Glucose 1.4 g 2.1 g 4.4 g
Sucrose 0.8 g 0.3 g 0.2 g
Total sugars 8.9 g 9.1 g 10.6 g
Starch 0 g 0 g 0.5 g
Sorbitol 2.8 g 3.3 g 0 mg
Available carbohydrate, without sugar alcohols 8.9 g 9.1 g 11.1 g
Available carbohydrate, with sugar alcohols 11.7 g 12.5 g 11.1 g
Organic Acids
Malic acid 0.2 g 0.3 g 0.3 g
Citric acid 0.2 g 0 g 0 g
Oxalic acid 0 g 0 g 0.1 g
Minerals
Calcium (Ca) 6 mg 6 mg 5 mg
Copper (Cu) 0.034 mg 0.053 mg 0.08 mg
Iron (Fe) 0.16 mg 0.16 mg 0 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 7 mg 6 mg 8 mg
Manganese (Mn) 0.064 mg 0 mg 0.03 mg
Phosphorus (P) 12 mg 12 mg 11 mg
Potassium (K) 115 mg 102 mg 130 mg
Selenium (Se) 0 ug 0 ug 1 ug
Sodium (Na) 2 mg 1 mg 7 mg
Sulphur (S) 0 mg 0 mg 4 mg
Zinc (Zn) 0.1 mg 0.1 mg 0.15 mg
Vitamins
Thiamin (B1) 0.02 mg 0.019 mg 0.02 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.03 mg 0.019 mg 0.02 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.07 mg 0.1 mg 0 mg
Niacin Equivalents 0.12 mg 0.14 mg 0.07 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0 mg 0 mg 0.07 mg
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.02 mg 0.03 mg 0 mg
Biotin (B7) 0.4 ug 0 mg 0.6 ug
Beta carotene 20 ug 19 ug 0 ug
Cryptoxanthin 10 ug 0 ug 0 ug
Beta carotene equivalents 25 ug 19 ug 0 ug
Retinol equivalents 4 ug 3 ug 0 ug
Vitamin C 6 mg 4 mg 2 mg
Alpha tocopherol 0.3 mg 0.4 mg 0 mg
Vitamin E 0.27 mg 0.41 mg 0 mg

Source: NUTTAB 2010(Food Standards Australia New Zealand); The University of New South Wales; Professor Heather Greenfield and co-workers at the University of New South Wales; Tables of composition of Australian Aboriginal Foods (J Brand-Miller, KW James and PMA Maggiore).