Pyrus pyrifolia is a species of pear tree native to East Asia.
This pear resembles an apple in appearance and in texture with the sweetness of Pear. It is known as Asian Pear, Japanese Pear, Korean Pear, Taiwanese Pear and Sand Pear. In Asia the tree’s flowers are a popular symbol of early spring.
Photo on Visual Hunt
The fruits are not generally baked in pies or made into jams due to their high water content and the crisp grainy texture is very different from European Pears. They are generally served raw and peeled although I like to eat them just like an apple and I will share a delicious baked recipe. When wrapped carefully these fruit will last for several weeks in a cold, dry place.
A recent article featured in AARP touted the Asian Pear as very helpful in eliminating a hangover. Studies were done by drinking the juice prior to indulgence. It helps to speed up the metabolizing process to eliminate the alcohol.
Photo on Visualhunt
These fruits are high in fiber, low in calories and contain a number of micronutrients that are important for blood, bone and cardiovascular health. Although delicious on their own, the light sweetness and crispy texture of Asian pears makes them a unique addition to any salad or stir fry. It is high in dietary fiber essential for intestinal health and helps to promote healthy blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It also helps you feel fuller longer with low calorie content. Potassium is an essential electrolyte. Asian pears provide 7.1 % of your daily potassium. Sodium and Potassium have opposite and complementary effects and the high potassium helps to counteract the high sodium content in other foods. This can help with blood pressure.
Asian Pears also provide between 10 and 14% of you daily Vitamin K helping to maintain the blood’s ability to clot. They also provide 15% of your daily Copper which is essential in the production of energy, red blood and collagen. Vitamin C is another micronutrient found in high concentration in Asian Pears providing 11 to 14% of the daily requirement. Vitamin C helps the growth and repair of tissues, healing wounds and repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. It also boosts iron absorption and is a powerful antioxidant helping remove free radicals from your body reducing your risk of cancer.
Photo on Visual hunt
Look for Asian Pears in your market or better yet plant one in your yard. The variety Twentieth Century is partially self-fertile producing fruit without another variety and is hardy in Zone 5. Eat them raw or use in salads and stir fry.
Below is a delicious way to eat them as a baked delight:
1 large Asian Pear, sliced up like an apple with the skin, lay in a shallow baking dish
Mix chopped walnuts with organic raw local honey to your desired consistency
Cover the fruit and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake 350 degrees for ½ hour.