What’s So Great About Asian Pears?

What’s So Great About Asian Pears?

This weeks’ post is short and sweet. The food in question doesn’t cause cancer or deplete the ocean of valuable resources. It won’t raise your blood pressure, it’s not radioactive and perhaps most surprising of all… your kids will in all likelihood eat it. Oh, happy day!

I actually stood behind a couple in line recently at the grocery store who had decided to get crazy and pick up a few new fruits they didn’t recognize (swingers, no doubt). One was this apple-looking yellowish fruit wrapped in a mesh bag that none of us could identify… including the cashier and the high-tech scanner that almost started smoking while trying to figure it out. The couple felt so bad about holding up the line that they abandoned the nameless fruit but I was obsessed with knowing what that thing was. So I took a swing back through the produce section on my way out (because apparently I have excess amounts of free time) and it was an Asian pear, people. And if you’re reading this, lovely couple from the grocery line, you should try again because that thing’s good for you!

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Here’s the breakdown from NutritionData. One large Asian pear contains fewer calories than the more recognizable Bartlett (115 vs. 133), more fibre (10g vs. 7g) fewer carbohydrates (29g vs. 36g), less sugar (19g vs. 23g) and slightly more Vitamin C.

Here’s another point in the Asian pear’s favour. Unlike most other pears the Asian pear, or Nashi, is ready to eat as soon as it is picked. No “fruit pressure” as you wait for the hard as rock pears you bought to mature on the counter, only to miss the seemingly infinitesimal window of opportunity when they cross from edible to mush. It has a crisper texture, closer to that of an apple and is slightly less sweet than other pears. That subtle flavour lends itself well to using the pear to add crunch to things like salad and stir fries and gives little hands a more substantial snack for dipping in things like peanut butter, yogurt dip or, if you should want them jacked up and awake for 36 hours straight, may we suggest a caramel sauce. You’re welcome.

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