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Pears


Mrs. B
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I'm always a bit baffled by pears. They are very hard, then very soft. With me there's no inbetween :)

Anyway, I would love to get general storage tips but also have a specific request. I would like to make this recipe for Salt Roasted Pears from Martha Stewart. It calls for cooking Bosc Pears in salt for 60-75 minutes. My gut tells me that I can use fairly firm peaches for this recipe. I would appreciate input.

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I always cook w bosc unless there is a particular recipe that tells me otherwise--it's because firm fruit's desirable. One of my favorite recipes along the lines of yours: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/roasted-pears-with-chestnut-honey-and-parmigiano-reggiano-recipe/index.html

Buttery, soft pears: Comice and Magness. Best raw w really good blue cheese or camembert and toasted nuts.

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Most pears are sold unripe (hard), because they are so perishable when ripe. They can take from a few days to a week or more in a brown paper bag in a warmish place before they are at a perfect soft, juicy state of ripeness for optimal eating. It was an orchardist at the Santa Monica farmers market years ago who told me to put the bartletts he was selling me in a closed brown paper bag under my kitchen sink for a few days, after which they would be ready to eat. And you have to time it right, because they rot from the inside out, so if you let them go too long, the inside will be brown and mushy around the core.

For pear tarts, I prefer the flavor of bartletts over boscs, but after bartlett season is over, I am happy with boscs. For pears poached in a spiced wine syrup, my favorites are seckel or forelle. Boscs work for that as well--they're a lot bigger, though. For eating fresh and out of hand, nothing beats a comice for flavor and shlurpiness, although they must be peeled because the skin is thick and tough. I've never been that enamored of magness, they are super sweet, but don't have enough flavor to complete the sale, as far as I am concerned. Comice are usually sold really hard, and can take two weeks sometimes before they are soft enough to enjoy to the fullest.

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