16 April 2010

Nashi, or Asian Pears

Hi all of you eager readers,

I know I've been bad lately about updating, but I did warn you about the end of the semester. We haven't been cooking much lately, and when we do it's always 1) slowly heat up a jar of pasta sauce (we like Newman's these days) in a fry pan 2) add freshly sautéed vegetables and 3) toss with pasta. Bam. I hope that doesn't inspire you gourmets—you're better than that.

So on my cooking hiatus I thought I'd inform you about an extremely tasty fruit many of you probably don't know: the nashi/ Asian pear. We first had them in Japan where they are considered quite special; our hosts always served them chilled and sliced with toothpicks in them for easy eating. They look like enormous apples with the skin of a freckled Bosc pear. The white crisp flesh tastes like a combination of the best apples and pears. They're best in winter, and you can find them at farmer's markets and even sometimes your local grocery. Don't be put off by the occasional high prices--they are almost always worth it.

We gave three of our neighborhood children some nashi and they loved it, even though it was a new flavor to them. Blackberries last summer inspired so much devotion that those kids are still asking for more. Excellent fruit tastes better than candy any day.

Several kinds of nashi are grown in the U.S. Check out the Wikipedia article for more information.

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