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Friday, July 31, 2015

Things go pear shaped

Velveteen pear
One of the virtuous terms being bandied about with it comes to food is "locally sourced", but sticking to this mentality can really hamper the exploration of the world of food. For example, though pears can grow in Texas, pears are definitely not in season in the summer. But in the Southern hemisphere, it would be fall/winter now, and pears are definitely at their peak there. And the varietals than can emerge, be it from genetic drift or controlled selection, need to be sufficiently intriguing to be worth the effort of export.

In my local grocery, I happened upon this New Zealand pear variety called a Velveteen Pear. 

The skin is a little thicker and more textured than the more common Anjou or Comice, which is probably where the velvet monicker is derived. But the flesh is far more intensely sweet than most pears. Unfortunately, I think most consumers fear the unknown, and don't consider this delicious variety. Another one to find if you have the chance is the Abate Fetel pear. A varietal credited to monks in Italy, it is a bit grainier than the usual pear, it is strongly aromatic and flavorful. And quite perishable.

Abate Fetel pear

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