The French Butter Pears are here! , September 12, 2005

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I often feel like Steve Martin in the movie The Jerk. Not because I wear paper hats or have finally found my special purpose; but because when the French Butter pears arrive, I run into public places yelling excitedly, the French Butter pears are here! The French Butter pears are here! I am somebody!
The French Butter pears that we have in the crate this week were grown by our friends at Gowan’s farm (AKA Oak Tree Fruit Stand) in Philo, California, just 8 miles outside of Booneville. The farm dates back to 1880 when George Studebaker rigged up his horse and cart to take his home grown apples on a three day journey from Philo toward Mendocino. He sold what he could along the way until his supply was spent. In 1922 his son in law Cecil Gowan started distributing fruit to towns from Fort Bragg to Gualala. Today Cecils son James, his wife Josephine and four of their seven children run the 250 acre fruit farm. They grow all sorts of great apples and pear varieties that we will be featuring throughout the fall.
Pears in history:
There are many varieties of pears. By 1866 T.W. Field of Great Britain had already catalogued 850 varieties. Pears, like many other fruits, seem to have originated somewhere in Central Asia. Homer referred to pears in the Odyssey. The Roman author Pliny in his Natural History names 41 varieties of pear. Pears are truly a great and widely variant fruit.
The French Butter pear is beautiful as well as an eating delight. When you hold the pear in your palm, its delicate, golden-russeted skin and bulbous-round shape makes you feel like you are a connoisseur of fruit. Eating this pear has the Calgon take me away oo la la kind of effect. If you can be patient and wait until it is perfect (should give slightly to the touch but not too much), then it will taste like sweet fall itself. The skin has a rich, crystalline texture and to my pallet, the taste experience is a blend of refreshing lemon zest and light brown sugar with a very delicate hint of cinnamon. At The FruitGuys we all like this pear so much that eating it makes us feel like someone important. Possibly even French (or at least a little buttery). Enjoy! chris@fruitguys.com or 1-877-FRUIT-ME
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