Cristie Mather, Director of Communications, USA Pears joined us with fun pear facts (Oregon’s State Fruit) and festive pear pairings for the holiday season. For more pear facts or delicious recipes head to pearusa.org.
The USDA has declared December as National Pear Month!
• December is the peak of pear season, when all ten varieties of pears that we grow in the Pacific Northwest are in season.
• 84% of the fresh pears grown in the US come from Oregon and Washington
• There are about 400 pear growers in Oregon, contributing $77 Million dollars to the state’s economy per year.
A ripe pear is a sweet pear!
• Simply leave pears at room temperature to ripen, and (I know Dave knows this!) Check the Neck for ripeness. If the pear feels soft at the neck, near the stem, then it is ripe, sweet, and juicy!
Pears are healthy!
• One medium sized pear provides 24% of your day’s fiber – which makes it a great snack to take on the go during this busy time of year. Fiber helps you to feel full faster and for longer!
• One medium sized pear provides 10% of your day’s vitamin C – which is essential for keeping your immune system in tip-top shape – a very good thing during cold season!
Pears are easy to incorporate into holiday menus.
• Pears pair well with cheese – it’s so easy to assemble an impressive pear and cheese plate.
Keep fresh sliced pears from turning brown by dipping into a 50/50 mixture of lemon juice and water
• Easy pear appetizer (recipe on usapears.org – Balsamic Glazed Pear and Goat Cheese Crostini)
Sautee sliced pears in butter, balsamic vinegar, and honey; place on toasted baguette slices spread with goat cheese, sprinkle toasted almonds atop for crunch.
• Pears garnish festive cocktails
A pretty pear slice adds subtle flavor and significant beauty to a glass of sparkling wine
Pear “olives” – use a melon baller to scoop pears into olive shapes and thread onto a cocktail pick to garnish any sweet cocktail