Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia
I just love Asian Pears (also known as Apple Pears, Taiwanese Pears, African Pears, Korean Pears, Japanese Pears, etc - see, they're so good everyone wants to claim them!). When ripe, these babies are very sweet and juicy yet crisp. They are low in calories and yet a good source of both Vitamin C and Fiber.
Wanna know to pick them? They are in season from roughly July to October. Quality Asian pears are best selected by smell rather than by softness. Unlike most pears that give in to a bit of pressure when ripe, Asian pears can be ripe even when they are still firm. So, look for a sweet aroma (though they might not smell as strongly if they're cold) and of course, stay away from pears that are real soft, wrinkled, have scuff marks or are bruised.
Asian Pears are one of the few fruits that I enjoy plain/raw - I just wash, slice, remove the core and eat - skins and all. They are just so refreshing! However, I also enjoy them in smoothies. They are great way to sweeten up smoothies and are neutral enough in flavor that they go with just about everything!
I have also read lately that they are quite good cooked/baked - something I never even thought about doing!. This recipe sounds especially yummy. I also found this recipe and these. Now that I'm thinking about it, these pears are neutral enough that they may be good on salads too! mmmmm ... these ideas are definitely something that I need to try - and soon!
If you haven't tried Asian Pears before, you really must - you can't go wrong!