Pears

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Aside from being one of the few fruits that are being grown in almost all of the temperate areas in the world, the pear is also one of the few fruits that can be grown in every region of Texas. Depending on the variety, pears can be sweet, tart, or a combination of both. Pear color can range from light green, to golden, and even red, depending on the variety.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Genus: Amygdaloideae
  • Species: Varies
  • Binomial name: Varies

Pear Trivia

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Genus: Amygdaloideae
  • Species: Varies
  • Binomial name: Varies

Pear Buying Guide

Pears ripen from the inside out. To check if they are ripe, press on the area on where the stem joins with the fruit. If there is a bit of “give” then the pears are ready for eating. If there are soft parts anywhere else on the pear, then there is a big chance that the pear is already overripe.

Since the skin of the pear very delicate, some light scratching or bruising can be expected. But while light marks are okay, deep bruises and punctures can mean that the inner flesh of the pears is contaminated, and this can lead to the fruit spoiling faster.

Don’t worry too much if you can’t find any perfectly ripe pears as most of the cultivated varieties of pears in the United States ripen better off the tree than on the tree.

There are plenty of “Pick your own” farms in Texas that offer pre-ripened organic pears, and they can also let you pick your own pears and give you an exact timeframe on when they will ripen nicely.

Pear Production & Farming in Texas

Texas Pear production is divided into three zones. Zone 1, which is Hill Country and West Texas. Zone 2, which is East Texas. Zone 3, which is Deep South Texas. The differences and variants for the different zones are the following:

  • Zone 1 – Variants that require high chilling hours
  • Zone 2 – Variants that can survive High Fire Blight Pressure
  • Zone 3 – Variants that require low chilling hours

 

Pesticides:

Pears are the latest addition to EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, ranking number 9 on the list with 48% of the pears tested having five or more detected pesticide residues. And here’s the kicker, all of the tested pears were locally grown in the United States by commercial growers and not imported.

The pears tested were washed before testing, so no amount of washing can remove the pesticide residues on the pears. We strongly suggest purchasing organic pears from farmers’ markets to avoid pesticide contamination.

Geography:

Depending on your zone in Texas, the pear variety that will need to be planted should be hardy to your zone.

Pear trees should be planted during winter or early spring while the ground is still cold. They thrive in well-drained, loose soil, with full sun exposure all year round. You also need to plant two different varieties of pears to cross-pollinate to produce fruit. It’s also helpful to note that the variants should be compatible with each other. Consult with your local nursery for the best varieties to plant in your zone.

Packaging:

Pears in the United States are picked by hand to avoid damaging their delicate skins. After picking, they are sent to packinghouses where they are sorted for size and quality. Pears that do not meet customer criteria are sent for processing into pear puree or canning.

After being sorted, they are wrapped individually in either paper or some foam netting to protect the skin before being sent out to customers.

Small organic farms in Texas pre-ripen their pears in warehouses before delivering them to farmers’ markets.

Eating Pears

Pears can be enjoyed the same way as apples. Give the pears a thorough wash to remove any debris and dust that may have settled on the surface of the pear. You can directly bite into the pear, peel it, or cut it into wedges. It’s all up to you.

Storage:

For unripe pears, store them away from sunlight, in a single layer, until they darken in color/ripen. Do not store unripe pears in the fridge. For ripe pears, they can actually be stored in the fridge for a two to three weeks, and sometimes up to a month depending on the variety of pear.

To freeze pears, you first need to slice them up and treat them with a coating of either sugar syrup or lemon/lime juice to prevent discoloration and oxidation. After treating, freeze in a single layer to avoid clumping before transferring to a freezer-safe container.

Cooking:

Pears are best enjoyed raw in itself or as topping for salads and other desserts. Pears can also be added to baked items.

For heated applications, you can poach pears, grill them, bake them and incorporate them into sauces. Their water content and structure does not lend well to other cooking applications.

Nutrition:

  • Carbs
    • Depending on the variety of pear, your pear can either be low-carb or medium level-carb. A rule of thumb is that Asian pears have a lower net carb rating than their European counterparts.
  • Fiber
    • Pears is a good source for the soluble fiber called pectin.
      • Pectin improves gut health by flushing out toxins and nourishing good gut bacteria.
    • Pears provide around 10% of the RDI for fiber.
  • Vitamins and minerals:
    • According to a 2019 study, pears can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
      • People who ate two pears a day for 12 weeks had shown a decrease in blood pressure.
    • Pears contain high levels of antioxidants, namely: Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Copper.
      • Antioxidants counter the effects of free radicals on the body.
      • Antioxidants also promote faster cell healing and regeneration.

When Are Pears in Season in Texas?

JANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC
  • August
  • September
  • Oktober
  • November

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Buy Local Farmfresh Pears in Texas Directly from the Producer

mapMarkerGreyCleveland

Agricola Family Farm

mapMarkerGreyBen Wheeler

Applewood Grove

mapMarkerGreyWaco

Aquilla Creek Farms

mapMarkerGreyGarfield

Austin Orchards

mapMarkerGreyWinnsboro

Ball Orchard

mapMarkerGreyBlue Ridge

Canticle Farm

mapMarkerGreyTimpson

Crawford Farms

mapMarkerGreyJoshua

Ewe Got It Farm

mapMarkerGreyPrinceton

Gilbert-Pruett Local Family Farms

mapMarkerGreyBlue Ridge

Good Old Days Farm

mapMarkerGreyHawkins

Hawkins Organic

mapMarkerGreyWaller

Hibiscus Hill Farm & Ranch

mapMarkerGreyBen Wheeler

Honey Apple Farm

mapMarkerGreySmithville

Indian Hills Farm

mapMarkerGreyHouston

Jolie Vue Farm

mapMarkerGreyLubbock

Juicy Lucy’s Veggies

mapMarkerGrey

Keene Culture

mapMarkerGreyBryan

Kelumac Christmas Tree Farm Bed and Breakfast

mapMarkerGreyFort Worth

L’Cajn Farm

mapMarkerGreyWaxahachie

Larken Farms Orchard