Of the two fall fruits that start with the letter P, one takes all the attention in October while the other — despite being Oregon’s state fruit — doesn’t get any fun Halloween parties thrown in its name. Poor pears.
Right now, local growers are wrapping up their pear harvests, so this is a great time to fall back in love with one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits. Pear Bureau Northwest represents hundreds of pear-growing families in Oregon and Washington, including in Hood River, so we got in touch to learn more.
Here are five fast fruity facts:
- Pears are harvested August-October. This year’s harvest was delayed by a few weeks thanks to a prolonged, cold spring.
- Together, Oregon and Washington represent 84% of the national pear crop.
- Bartlett pears (the fan favorite) are grown in this area, but our largest crop is the green Anjou.
- Pears are a low glycemic index food packed with vitamin C, potassium, and a surprising amount of fiber (one medium-sized pear contains 21% of your daily value).
- Pears don’t ripen on the tree. They’re harvested when they’re mature and most don’t change color when they’re ripe.
“Pears are so versatile, that’s one of the great things about them. You can enjoy them in a smoothie at breakfast or in a dessert after dinner. They can be part of your entree in a savory dish — they’re a great addition to your Thanksgiving stuffing,” said Jim Morris with Pear Bureau Northwest.
Sounds pear-fect, right? Here’s a stuffing recipe from cookbook author Andrea Slonecker.