- apple pear
- Japanese pear
- Chinese pear
- Oriental pear
- sand pear
- nashi pear
- salad pear
- Korean pear
Wikipedia Article About Asian pear on Wikipedia
The Nashi Pear, Sand Pear or Asian Pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) is a species of pear native to eastern Asia, where it is widely grown for its edible fruit. It is often referred to as the Korean Pear or Taiwan Pear but is not its true name. These are juicy, round pears that are shaped like apples. Because of the resemblance, they are sometimes known as "apple pears". They are a popular fruit, eaten as a thirst quencher. They are sweet on the tree and are eaten crisp.
Nashi Pear flowers are white with five petals; they flower around April. The fruit is harvested in fall and nashi may be used as an autumn kigo, or "season word", in writing haiku.
Note that in Japanese, Nashi (?) is the word for the Japanese apple-pear, while European Pears (Pyrus communis) are called Yonashi (??), which is literally Western Nashi. See also the similar Ya Pear (Pyrus bretschneideri), grown in China.
Asian pears are cousins to the pears that are typically seen in grocery stores, but this fruit is similar to an apple and its many names reflect that characteristic. Other names that this fruit goes by are: Chinese pear, Japanese pear, Sand, Nashi, and apple pear.
Asian pears differ from the traditional European ones. These pears are usually round, firm to touch when ripe, and are ready to eat after harvest. Asian pears reach prime quality when they ripen on the tree, like an apple and peach. These pears will be crisp, juicy, and slightly sweet with some tartness, especially near the core.
While European pears have the bulbous bottoms and tapering tops, they are not ready to eat until they are slightly soft and must be picked during the green stage and ripen at room temperature. European pears will be soft and juicy, with a sweeter, mellower taste. European pears will be brown at the core and an unpleasant taste if they are tree-ripened.
There are several Asian pear varieties available. Japanese pears are more round in shape, while the Chinese pears are more oval or pyriform (pear-shaped).
In the United States, the Japanese type of Asian pear called 20th Century or Nijisseki is the most popular. It is easily identified with its round shape and smooth yellow skin. Other common varieties include the Japanese bronze-toned Hosui pear and the pear-shaped Ya Li, a pale-green Chinese variety.
Select the most fragrant and unbruised fruit with little to no brown spots. Ripe Asian pears are hard and do not soften. They are ready to eat when purchased.
Asian pears are known for keeping well. Store pears a week at room temperature or up to three months in the refrigerator.
- Fruit of the Month: Asian Pear by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, public domain government resource—original source of article