Early 20th Century-Pear in the 21st Century

Technology and life in general advance so quickly around us that sometimes it’s hard to imagine what the future will really hold: What products will last? What will become obsolete? Sure, there are those lofty and fanciful future ideas that every 1970s kids like me hoped would happen like teleportation, jet packs in every household, and hand-held Star Trek-like portable communication devices that would fit in the pockets of our Toughskins jeans and be used to talk to each other instead of our rotary dial house telephones. (Wow, wouldn’t that be neat!!!)

And if you would have asked me back then to describe the Internet – forget it – I would have said it must be a series of safety devices strung under trapeze artists to protect them from falling (“Well Bob, thank goodness we had those inter-nets hooked up or else The Great Splendido would be Splato.”)

One of the beautiful things about the future of fruit is that its past products don’t become obsolete like my red rotary telephone. We can enjoy new varieties that spring up or are cultivated by farmers, but we can also taste varieties that people enjoyed centuries before. The 20th century Asian Apple Pear, or Nijisseiki pear, is just one of these fruits. It was introduced in 1898, cultivated from chance seedlings found in Matsudo City in Japan. Over the past century, this green-yellow pear has become one of the most widely grown Asian Apple Pears in the world and has complex flavors that make eating it a real treat.

The FruitGuys gets its Nijisseiki pears from Torrey Olsen’s organic Gabriel Farm in Sebastopol, CA. Don’t be fooled: while these pears are not uniformly shaped or completely blemish-free (they may even be lopsided, greenish, and speckled), they are fresh off the tree and delicious.

The Nijisseiki Pear is wonderfully crisp and juicy with notes of vanilla and butterscotch at first bite. A complex pear, it’s taste changes as you eat the fruit closer to the core, finishing with an unusual tartness mixed with a refreshing sorbet-like texture. I like to put them in the refrigerator on hot summer days as they are super juicy (even when very firm). FruitGuys selections change based on the farms near your area.

See what’s in your regional fruit mix here.

Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt chiefbanana@fruitguys.com

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