You seem to love pears. I like the flavor but don’t like their texture; it is like an apple that has been embedded with sand. Am I doing something wrong – eating them unripe, eating the wrong variety? Please help – Pearcene
The reluctant admission of the food-lover; that you don’t love a specific fruit, vegetable or dish. It is easier to admit you like trashy food – A bloomin’ onion or Kraft Mac & cheese. There is less weight saying "I don’t like ketchup" - the only risk I run with that admission is sounding like a snob. That carries fewer consequences than admitting and here it goes…I don’t think truffles are all that, scotch tastes like malted lawn and caviar is really expensive fish flavored salt. There it is said.
You aren’t alone in your belief that there is something untoward about the texture of pears - A quick consultation of the Saucytorium turned up multiple references maligning pears. People’s aversion to pears is almost universally about the texture. It took all of 10 minutes to find 4 different writers who were willing to dismiss pears as ‘Mushy’, ‘stringy’, ‘hard’ and ‘grainy’. Bonus quote: ‘Not worthy of fodder’, really hater, you wouldn’t let pigs eat fallen pears? That is hyper-hyperbolic.
Boscs probably are the most textural, even when ripe. Bartletts are a close 2nd. Because they store well, Barletts are the most prevalent variety you’ll find in stores and Markets. Rather than bite into them, allow the pears to ripen at room temperature for a few days. While certain kinds of pears will undergo a dramatic change in the shade of the skin from green to yellow as they ripen; the Barlett only changes color a little around the stem. The best way to test for ripeness to follow the bumperstickerable advice from USAPear and ‘Check the Neck’ – gently pinch the neck and the pear should give just a little to your touch.
Or maybe you would find more pleasure in a different pear variety, like a D’Anjou or if you really want to like pears look for the varieties with the word ‘beurre’ - It is French for butter and the fruit does have a melt in your mouth quality. Because they are soft and malleable, you are unlikely to find them in a store but if you are interested now is the time to seek this variety out at growers/farmers markets.
Short of tracking down esoteric (and expensive) varieties of a fruit you are kinda ‘meh’ about - your best bet is to poach pears. Peel and core the pears and place them in a cool liquid - bring the water, wine, cider or syrup slowly up to a 160 or so degrees, cook until you can poke the thickest part of the pear easily with a knife. The gentle heat will breakdown the fiber without turning the pears to mush. Usually poaching pears is done for desserts – a whole poached pear filled with mascarpone, or poached in red wine and drizzled with chocolate are good but if you poach pears in water you can serve them savory style as well – cheese, salad, etc.
Or you can just not like pears and be strong in your faith. Even the biggest food lovers have their preferences; Daniel Patterson of San Francisco’s Coi made the bold statement that he didn’t like garlic in the NY Times Magazine. It is a pretty amazing thing for a to state publicly but it is good to know you can love food without loving everything about it.