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This item was last sold on : 02/23/17
Pear blossoms first appear as green buds that later become white as the weather warms, sometimes a month into spring. The flowers measure 2-3 cm across are composed of five white petals, and usually appear in clusters of five to seven. Pear blossoms are delicate but offer little flavor and a mild sweet scent. Some ornamental varieties, such as the Callery, are known for their unpleasant fragrance that has been described as rotten fish or chlorine.
Pear blossoms are available in the spring.
Pear trees are a member of the Rose family along with apple, quince, almond and plum. There are over 45 species of trees and shrubs in the Pyrus genus, and thousands of named pear varieties. The pear is one of the oldest domesticated fruits, and the world’s second most cultivated deciduous fruit tree after the apple. The two main types of pear, Asian and European, both produce a similar sweet smelling blossom, but there are some ornamental pear trees that do not bear notable fruit and instead produce blooms with an offensive aroma.
Pear blossoms are rarely eaten as a stand-alone ingredient, but rather as a garnish. Use only the flowers from the Asian or European fruit-producing varieties, rather than those of the pungent smelling ornamental pear trees. The honey from pear blossoms is a very light golden color and has a mild floral flavor excellent for complimenting young cheeses.
Pear trees are an ancient fruit with cultivation that pre-dates the Christian era. References appear in Homer’s The Odyssey and in Chinese documents about grafting techniques from 5,000 B.C. Wild pear trees once grew in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean near Asia Minor as well as central China. Present day European pears with their juicy flesh evolved from the Pyrus communis and the crisp Asian varieties from Pyrus pyrifolia. Today pear trees may be found in temperate climates around the world. They grow well in full sun and in most soil types with adequate drainage.