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Index fruits & légumes

Pears

Delicious…and nutritious!

Whatever they look like on the outside …red, yellow, green or brown…pears contain a delicious white or cream-coloured inside with an aroma that reaches its height when the fruit is fully mature. In terms of nutrition, pears are among the richest fruits, something your body needs to maintain intestinal regularity and prevent cardiovascular disease.

Main varieties

The main varieties of pears are Bartlett (yellow and red), Starkrimson, Anjou (red and green), Bosc and Comice.

Servings and nutritional value

1 fresh pear, medium size (166 g) = 1 fruit serving

Nutrients % Daily requirement*
Energy: 100 calories  
Lipids: 0 g 0 %
Carbohydrates: 26 g 9 %
Fibre: 5.0 g 20 %
Proteins: 1 g  
Vitamin C: 7 mg 10 %
Vitamin K: 7.5 μg 10 %
Copper: 0.136 mg 6 %
Folic acid (B9): 12 μg 6 %
Potassium: 200 mg 6 %
Magnesium: 12 mg 4 %

Every pear variety is special!

Yellow Bartlett

August to January
Pears changes from light green to bright yellow as they ripen. Excellent inside. Used in cooking, they keep their shape and flavour. Ideal for jams, pies, muffins and fruit breads.

Red pears (Starkrimson, Red Bartlett, Red Anjou)

August to May
This pear’s attractive, bright red colour is a perfect way to liven up a fruit-based salad or dessert.

Anjou

October to June
At maturity, this pear’s fruit is extremely juicy. An excellent “eating” pear, it can also be added to salads or served with cheese. Does not change skin colour when ripening.

Bosc

September to April
An excellent pear for baking in pies or muffins, poaching or microwave recipes. Does not change skin colour when ripening.

Comice

September to March
One of the juiciest and sweetest pear varieties. A delicious “eating” pear and fresh salad ingredient. Outstanding for cheese plates too.

Did you know?

  • Vitamin K is indispensable for blood coagulation. It received the letter K designation from the first German researchers who termed it Koagulationsvitamin.
  • Copper, which is used to make classic kitchen pans and utensils, is also present in the human body. This metallic element is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and collagen (a protein present in skin and bone tissues), as well as helping to maintain the immune system and fertility.
  • If you want to know whether or not a pear is ripe, press lightly with your thumb on the base of the stem. The riper the pear is, the more tender its “neck” becomes. If the fruit yields slightly to your touch, the pear is ripe. With this simple test, you can be sure it’s full of delicious, sweet flavour and “ripe for the eating.” Enjoy!
  • Pears, like bananas, don’t completely ripen on the tree. Which is why they’re picked when full size but not at full maturity. If the pears you’ve bought at the supermarket are too firm, put them into a bowl or a paper bag, and leave them at room temperature. Depending on how firm they are, they’ll take from 1 to 10 days to achieve perfect tenderness. If you don’t want to eat them at that point, put them into the refrigerator to slow them from ripening further. But remember to take your pears out 30 minutes before you eat them, so they’ll have time to regain their special quality and flavour.

Chef's tips

  • You can’t rely on a pear’s colour to tell whether or not it’s ripe. Only some varieties change colour as they ripen.
  • Pears turn brown rapidly when expose to oxygen in air, once they are cut open. To prevent this, sprinkle pear slices or sections with lemon juice. This will keep them fresh in salads and school lunchboxes.
  • For a quick, healthy dessert, cut a pear in half, without peeling it. Scoop out the core. Sprinkle the cavities with a layer of nutmeg, then fill them with dried fruits and/or chopped nuts and warm the pear halves in the microwave oven for about 1 minute, at maximum heat. Serve with yogurt (optional). A real treat!

* Based on Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)
Source: Health Canada – Canadian Nutrient File (CNF)


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