Bartlett Pears

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Seasons/Availability

Bartlett pears are available year-round, with peak season in the fall through winter.

Current Facts

Bartlett pears are botanically classified as Pyrus communis and has three primary varieties: Anjou, Bartlett, and Comice. These varieties vary slightly in size and shape, with Bartlett pears being the most commonly cultivated and consumed variety.

Nutritional Value

Bartlett pears are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins C and K, copper, potassium, magnesium, folate and manganese. They also provide some antioxidants that may help protect against chronic disease.

Applications

Due to their juicy texture and sweet flavor when ripe, Bartlett pears are best enjoyed fresh out-of-hand or sliced into salads. Cooked applications include baking, poaching, canning and compotes. Bartlett pears can also be used to make preserves, jams and jellies. The fruit is popularly canned in syrup or juice for a sweet-tart flavor. They are also incorporated into both savory and sweet recipes such as chutneys and pies. Bartlett pears pair well with cheeses like blue cheese, feta or brie; nuts like almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts; spices like cinnamon, cloves or cardamom; meats such as pork tenderloin or ham; vegetables such as onions or celery; herbs like thyme and rosemary; fruits including apples, plums or oranges.

Storage

Ripe Bartlett pears should be refrigerated and eaten within a week. Unripened pears can be stored at room temperature until they reach desired ripeness. Once ripe, store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Do not store pears in plastic bags as this will increase softening and spoilage. Pears can also be frozen for up to six months if properly prepared prior to storage. To freeze, peel the pears, cut into slices or wedges, place on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer frozen pieces into an airtight container or freezer bag for long-term storage. When ready to use thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using them in recipes.

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