It’s time to rediscover the humble pear | The Tool Shed

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It’s time to rediscover the humble pear

We’ve all heard the well known phrase ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, but it’s time to give its relation some special recognition. Recent studies have shown that as well as being a delicious snack, pears have enormous health benefits. Regular intake of dietary fibre is a key factor in reducing our risk of heart disease and type two diabetes and thanks to its combination of both soluble and insoluble fibre the pear offers enhanced fibre content. Pears are also high in vitamin C so now that they are in season and at their best be sure to add them to your diet this autumn.

A little information about their origins

It is believed that pears were first cultivated around 1000 BC in the Caucasus region before spreading to Europe then Asia. It is likely that pears were cultivated in Britain during the Roman occupation but the production of the fruit was slow to develop however by 1640 at least 64 varieties were being cultivated in England. The majority of pears continued to be used for cooking until early in the 19th century the renowned horticulturist Thomas Andrew Knight began to develop pear varieties. The Royal Horticultural Society encouraged pear growing and in 1826 there were 622 varieties in their gardens at Chiswick. 1894 saw the introduction of the conference pear and together with Comice it quickly overshadowed all other pear varieties. Throughout the second half of the 20th century both the sales and production of Comice declined whilst Conference increased in popularity and today this variety represents more than 90% of UK commercial production.

Versatile

What do we love the most about pears here at Sous Vide Tools? Their versatility! Add them to salads and cheese boards, poach them, use them with chocolate to make a stunning dessert, use their juice for jellies and jams or just simply enjoy on their own. The sky really is the limit when it comes to pears. We’ve discovered that they are ideal for Sous Vide cooking too. Just take a look at this simple recipe:

Lavender Poached Pears with Blue Cheese, Yoghurt and Walnut Praline

How to select the best

It is always best to buy pears whilst they are under ripe then allow them to ripen at home. Pears should be firm but not hard and will yield to gentle pressure at the stem when ripe. If using pears for cooking we’d recommend choosing those that are slightly firmer.

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