What the Food?: Apple Pear

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As I was scrounging through my fridge, in an attempt to add more fruit to my diet, I came upon a lonely Apple Pear.  Living in Hawaii we don’t have seasonal fruit because there is basically only one season here, tropical season.  So we don’t get a big variety of produce and the few seasonal fruit that is shipped to the islands is very expensive.

So naturally I thought an Apple Pear was a hybrid fruit like a pluot, a plum-apricot hybrid with deep purple skin and bright amber flesh, or a Marion berry, a raspberry-blackberry hybrid that I discovered while berry picking in Portland-Oregon.  I am always distrustful and feel odd about hybrid fruits since these fruit don’t occur in nature but are instead concocted by men and science.  So far I haven’t found these hybrids pleasant either.  The pluots are incredibly tart.  And although Marion berries are sweetly lush and bursting with juice, their branches are full of monstrously large and dangerous thorns and are very hard to pick.  If they aren’t savagely stabbing you these juicy fruits are bursting between your fingers when you try to pick them.  It’s as if nature itself was angry and protesting it’s own unnaturalness…  “How dare you humans for breeding me for you own will, you may be able to twist my genetic makeup but you will not be able to harvest my fruits without a fight!” is what I imagine these berries would say if they could talk.

However I was surprised to find that the Apple Pear is not a hybrid, but instead a pear that happens to grow in the shape of an apple.  New to most folks, the Apple Pear has actually been around for a very long time.  Originating in Asia these fruit were brought over to the US during the time of the Gold Rush and we’ve been growing them ever since.  Firmer and tarter than a regular pear, these fruit really do resemble both an apple and a pear.

If you prefer tarter fruit you may really like the Apple Pear but it’s not my personal favorite.  Probably because I tend to like my fruit on the sweeter side, or maybe because first impressions are lasting and even though I learned that the Apple Pear is not a hybrid fruit I still have my suspicions.

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