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Articles - Gourmet Pleasures:

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Cooking with nashi pears

The nashi pear tastes like a mixture of apple and pear. This fruit is particularly refreshing when eaten on its own, either with the skin or thinly peeled and lightly chilled. Nashi pears are also excellent when used to make a fruit salad, sorbet, jam, smoothies, fruit compote and sweet desserts like the classic “Pear or Nashi Helene”. In this case the fruit is poached in sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce. The sweet-and-sour aroma also blends well with spicy dishes: how about nashi pears with a cheese plate, rolled in Parma ham or braised as an accompaniment to game and poultry? Pork medallions are also delicious with nashi pears and Gorgonzola sauce.

Origin, appearance and nutrients

The apple pear (Pyrus pyrifolia), as this exotic fruit is also called, originated in China. The tree grows to about five metres in height and is cultivated today throughout East Asia and in Japan, Chile, France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. The Japanese variety is the one most commonly found on the German market. Nashi is the Japanese word for “pear”. The fruits are about the size of an apple and are round. Their skin is edible and is yellow to ochre in colour and often rough. The flesh is white, juicy and not as soft as that of a pear. Nashis contain many positive nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium calcium, iron and phosphorus.

Buying, quality and storage

Nashi pears are available in the shops all the year round. Since these exotic fruits are very sensitive to pressure, they are mostly packed individually in foam nets. You can recognise ripe fruits by their fine aroma of pears. They can be stored for over a week at room temperature after purchase.

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de