Autumn and early winter is the best time to enjoy the pale, sweet flesh of pears. Their slightly grainy texture, and nectar like juice make them a delightful change from the crisper, tarter apple we have been eating in abundance all fall.

Pears are loaded with fiber if you eat them with the skin, 6 grams per fruit. They also contain a decent amount of potassium and a little vitamin C.

The most common varieties include:

  • Bartlett: golden yellow with a pink blush.
  • D'Anjou: more of a winter pear, rounder and greener than Bartlett.
  • Bosc: a deep autumn copper color, with a long slender neck. It holds it shape well when cooked, so would be a good choice in the pear cake recipe below
  • Comice: the pear of choice for dessert, sweet and juicy, almost has no neck, and is greenish-yellow.

Pears ripen best off the tree. They ripen from the inside out, so a soft exterior may indicate a beginning to rot interior. Buy pears firm and ripen at home in a ventilated brown paper bag.

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