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All about “Pear”

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Nutritional value of pear

  Raw with peel, medium size / 165 g Canned, light syrup, 125 ml (1/2 cup) / 133 g
Calories 96 76
Protein 0.6 g 0.3 g
Carbohydrates 25.7 g 20.1 g
Lipids 0.2 g 0.0 g
Dietary fiber 5.0 g 2.1 g
Glycemic load  : Low
Antioxidant power  : Very high

Source  : Health Canada. Canadian Nutrient File , 2010.

Pear health profile

 

The pear goes well with salty than sweet , from appetizer to dessert. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber and its skin, rich in antioxidants , is said to prevent cardiovascular disease and certain cancers .

 

The benefits of pear

  • Cancer . A substantial intake of antioxidants , particularly found in fruits and vegetables, including pears, can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer 1-2 , 11 .
  • Cardiovascular diseases . The peel of pears , added to an otherwise high cholesterol diet would reduce the increase in blood lipids and increase the concentration of antioxidants in the blood 5 . Although these results need to be verified in humans, it appears that consuming the whole pear , rather than just the flesh, would provide maximum antioxidants. Another study found that fruit consumption would have variable effects on antioxidant capacity and blood lipids depending on whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker . In fact, the daily consumption of fruit (a pear, an apple and ¾ cup (200 ml) of orange juice), particularly increases the antioxidant capacity in non-smokers. In smokers, researchers have mainly observed a decrease in blood lipids 10 .

What does pear contain?

Antioxidants
Pear contains several phenolic compounds. Thanks to their antioxidant power 10 , these substances present in foods of plant origin can prevent several diseases, including certain types of cancers 1-2 , 11 and cardiovascular diseases 1-3 , 12,13 . In pear, these phenolic compounds, flavonoids and phenolic acids , are present mainly in the peel , but also in smaller quantities in the flesh of the fruit 4 .

Dietary fiber
Pear is a high source of dietary fiber, which is important for regulating intestinal transit and preventing cardiovascular disease 9 . About two thirds of the fiber in pear is insoluble fiber 5 . The peel of the pear contains more fiber than its pulp.

More antioxidants in organic pear?

According to researchers, pears from organic farming have higher amounts of phenolic compounds compared to pears from conventional cultivation. The latter would still contain an appreciable quantity 6 . The organic allow fruit to deploy more defenses “antioxidant” against pathogens, in the absence of pesticides. Anyway, it is advisable to consume fruits and vegetables every day, whatever their type of crop, in order to benefit from their multiple benefits.

Main vitamins and minerals

> Classification of nutrient sources

>  Vitamins: their functions, the best sources

>  Minerals: their functions, the best sources

Copper Raw pear is a good source of copper, while canned pears are a source.
Vitamin C Raw pear is a source of vitamin C.
Vitamin K Raw pear is a source of vitamin K.

Precautions

Pear contains sorbitol and fructose , types of sugars that can cause gastrointestinal discomfort (gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea) in sensitive people. Individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome 14 are particularly vulnerable. In adults, these discomforts can be felt from 10 g of sorbitol per day 7 (corresponding to approximately 2.5 medium pears). Consuming 50 g or more of fructose daily can also cause diarrhea (approximately equivalent to 5 medium pears or 2 ½ cups (625 ml) of pear nectar).

In children , consumption of pear nectar as well as apple juice could be a cause of chronic idiopathic diarrhea (of unknown origin) 8 . There could also be a link between restlessness in babies and an intolerance to pear juice. If gastrointestinal symptoms appear, it is important to check if these drinks are the cause.

Oral allergy syndrome

Pear is a food implicated in oral allergy syndrome . This syndrome takes the form of an allergic reaction to certain proteins from a range of fruits, vegetables and nuts. It often affects people with allergies to environmental pollens and is almost always preceded by hay fever .

People with allergies who consume raw pear (cooking usually breaks down the allergenic proteins) experience itching and burning sensations in their mouth, lips and throat. Symptoms may appear and then disappear, usually within minutes of eating or touching the offending food.

In the absence of other symptoms, this reaction is not serious and pear consumption should not be avoided systematically. However, it is recommended to consult an allergist to determine the cause of the reactions to plant foods. The latter will be able to assess whether special precautions need to be taken.

Recipe ideas

  • Why not revive an old habit that was during the XIV th  to the XVI th  century? The expression “  between pear and cheese  ” is even devoted to him. It was a question of providing an interlude during the meal, the pear serving to refresh the palate before serving the cheese.
  • Serve the pear at the same time as the cheese , with which it goes well. Alternate slices of one and the other to explode the flavors. She is divine in a blue cheese soufflé .
  • With meat, poultry and game , as an accompaniment or in a stuffing. Try it on a skewer with cubes of veal or pork.
  • In sorbet or in a pie .
  • With chocolate . Cover it with chocolate, poach it, make it candy or simply fold it into a pie.
  • At the Belle-Hélène . Cook it in syrup and serve in a cup of vanilla ice cream, topped with hot chocolate.
  • Get the poached in a spicy wine with cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.
  • Stuffed with dried fruits and baked or served with almonds and cashews.
  • In a cold salsa with tomatoes, peaches, red pepper, onion, jalapeño pepper, fresh cilantro, lemon and honey. Let the flavors of the food mingle for a few hours in the fridge and serve as a side dish with grilled meat or fish.

Pear in a brandy carafe

The trick is to enclose a barely formed pear, still hanging from its branch in a narrow-necked carafe, and to let it grow in this miniserre throughout the summer. We choose a fruit located at the end of a branch and growing upwards. It is inserted into the carafe, itself suspended upside down in the tree. When the pear is ripe, it is plucked in its decanter, which is then filled with alcohol or brandy. We close with a stopper and leave to age for 1 or 2 months before tasting.
  • In the Maghreb . Season with paprika, coriander and cumin, and put in the oven.
  • West Indian . Cook it with grated ginger, green pepper and fresh cilantro.
  • Indian style . With curry, mint, spring onion, coriander seeds and chopped pepper.

The little story of the pear

Common name : pear.
Scientific names : Pyrus communis, P. sinensis (serotina, pyrofolia) .
Family  : rosaceae.

In virtually all Western languages, the name of the pear is directly derived from the Latin Pyra . The term originated in the French language in the XII th  century. The name “  apple-pear  ” that we give to the Asian pear is wrong. It is neither an apple, nor the product of a cross between an apple and a pear, as has long been believed. It is indeed a pear (of the botanical genus Pyrus ). It differs from its European cousin by a few characteristics, including its shape and size.

Bon Chrétien, Williams or Bartlett?
The Bon Chrétien pear is said to have been baptized because of a healer, renowned for his holiness and his asceticism. He would have been summoned to King Louis XI, very ill, who hoped that the holy man would cure him. The latter would have offered him a pear tree seed from his native Calabria with instructions to plant it and take good care of it.
To be continued…

Trees of the genus Pyrus are native to the Middle East and the subalpine areas of Kashmir. Wild species are still found in Central Asia and the Far East. Their fruits are small and few in number, so they are picked only by birds.

It is believed that farmers began to domesticate the pear tree 7,000 years ago, probably at the same time as the apple tree. We evoke a certain Chinese named Feng Li who, 5,000 years before our era, would have given up his post as a diplomat to devote himself to his new passion, the grafting of peach, almond, persimmon, pear and apple trees. Two thousand years later, the pear appears on Sumerian clay tablets, alongside thyme and figs.

The Greeks would have appreciated it since Homer said of it that it was a gift from the gods. But it is to the Romans that we owe its real diffusion in the rest of Europe. They would have crossed it several times and would have created about fifty varieties. At present, there are more than 15,000 varieties in the world, all derived from two species: the so-called Asian pear ( Pyrus sinensis ) and the so-called European pear ( Pyrus communis ).

In China, the pear blossom is the symbol of the transience of existence, because it is very fragile. In the West, in the dreamlike universe, the pear is a female erotic symbol . The names given to it over the centuries bear witness to this fairly well: Belle Lucrative, Comtesse d’Angoulème, Doyenne du Comice, Duchesse d’Orléans, Joséphine de Malines, Louise-bonne de Jersey, Marie-Louise, Madeleine, Winter Nelis …

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