April 1, 2016

Fragrant Pear 香梨

By Published: 2016-04-01
Tis the season for the best, I kid you not, the best pear you're ever going to have!  If you're a pear lover, and who isn't, you have to do your pear shaped duty and find a source for these special Chinese pears.  Our latest fruit obsession, these Fragrant Pears or 香梨 are amaaaazing: light, tender, snowy white flesh, delicately crisp, filled to the brim with the most refreshingly sweet and flavorful pear juice.  They are so good that we can't stop gobbling them up right away and having to run back to the market to stock up on more!  And why not indulge, tis the season for the Fragrant Pear 香梨 and they'll be gone soon enough if you don't hurry and get some for yourself!


The look of the pear is nothing special.  A rather humble looking pear, if I may say.  A small size, the usual oval pear shape. A matte finish, waxy pale green to greenish yellow skin, sometimes with a rosy blush.   When I first saw these pears in the market starting maybe a decade ago, I wasn't tempted to buy them because they looked too small to have much flesh.  Which actually is true, these pears aren't really fleshy and the seed bit in the centre is quite large.

             


But, oh!  The bit'o flesh that you do get!  The most tender, flavorful, juicy bit of fruit that you will ever have the joy of biting into.  Seriously I can't tell you how good this fruit is.  It looks like you're really going to have to try it for yourself!


These legendary pears are from Korla 庫爾勒, a region of Xinjiang 新疆 in western China and have been grown there for over 1300 years.  It is only in the past decade of so that those of us far away from these remote regions have begun to be able to taste these fruits.  

 Harvesting the Fragrant Pear (Image from www.tianshannet.com.cn)
In Hong Kong you can find these Fragrant Pears at the wet market, your corner fruit market or your supermarkets.  In other countries the best bet would be to look for them at your Asian grocery stores.  When buying look for rock hard, unblemished pears that have a rosy blush.  Perfection...


For preparation of the Fragrant Pear I like to peel them completely as the skin is a bit waxy.  Then I slice the fruit close to the core to get as much of the juicy flesh as possible.  As the core of the pear is rather large you will find that you have a good bit of core/seed in your slice.   You'll want to scoop that bit away as it can be a little sour.  I just use my melon ball scooper , easy peasy!  Once the middle core bit is scooped out then slice into bit sized pieces and serve.  Or you can cover and chill in fridge (it won't turn brown) and have it for later.  I like to pack this fruit for my little girl's school snack, she always gobbles it up!

          


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