Perhaps I do have a fetish with pears…this is the second pear post I’ve written this year. (See French Butter Pears from September).
I really think my infliction is not a pear fetish, but a “new ingredient” fetish. As I’m strolling (or whizzing if I’m in a hurry) through the grocery aisles, my built-in food curiosity radar goes off whenever I’m within a foot or two of some new thing.
Ripping through Trader Joe’s last week, gathering supplies for a cooking class, I spotted a four-pack of pale yellow orbs. They sorta looked like Asian pears I’ve seen hundreds of times, but these were smaller. And the color was definitely different. Asian pears have more tannish, luminescent skin.
The label said “Japanese ‘Twentieth Century’ Pears, grown in Oregon” (pictured on the right; the pear on the left is my all-time favorite comice pear, also known as the Christmas pear — the sweetest, juciest pear known to man, or at least to me if not all of mankind.)
Of course I bought the JTC pears, took them home, and cut into one. Actually, I didn’t, but my husband did. He said it wasn’t particularly sweet, so I left them on the counter a few days, thinking they just needed to ripen a bit. After a few days, they were marginally softer than when I brought them home, but still very firm. Nonetheless, I decided to try one. I cut it up and tasted a chunk. It was barely sweet, and extremely crunchy — kind of like jicama, that Mexican white root vegetable, that’s crunchy from all the fiber it contains, and a bit juicy from all the water it contains, but not very flavorful.
I don’t judge restaurants after just one visit, but I’ve noticed that I do judge pretty much everything else after one experience, and my first experience with JTC has satisfied my curiosity about the mysterious new pear, but I can’t say that it has convinced me it’s worthy of peardom.