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BUERRÉ BOSC PEARSIt’s uncertain whether Bosc pears are Belgium or French in origin. What is known is that Bosc Pears were discovered sometime in the early 1800’s. At that time, the European convention for naming pears was to use a two-name system, where the first name identified a characteristic of the fruit, and the second name referenced its origin. Buerré Bosc identifies the fruit as “buttery” and named after M. Bosc who was the director of the Paris Botanical Garden at the time.

This is an elegant variety, with a crunchy yet tender flesh and sweet-spiced flavor. Contrary to some beliefs, Bosc pears do not need to be peeled to enjoy. They are delicious eaten out of hand, skin and all, and are ideal for use in baking, broiling and poaching.

RIPENING: Bosc pears are sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process than other pears. As a result, their complex flavor, honey-sweetness, and juiciness can be enjoyed before their flesh has fully softened. Remember this when determining when Bosc are ripe. Check with gentle thumb pressure applied near the stem. However, keep in mind that they will “give” less than other pears. There may be a slight wrinkling at the base and minimal color change as they ripen. Ripen at room temperature; refrigerate only after pears are ripe.

Cinnamon Baked Bosc Pears- Serve warm or chilled for a luscious low-fat dessert.  1/2 t. ground cinnamon, 1/4 C. white wine, Pinch ground white pepper (optional), 1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, 2 firm Bosc Pears,  1-1/2 T. lemon juice, 2 T. sugar, 1 t. nonhydrogenated vegan margarine, cut into 4 pieces, 2 T. pine nuts (optional).

Preheat oven to 400°, one rack in top position, one in the middle. Combine wine, cinnamon and pepper in an 8-inch square dish. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into wine mixture and add scraped pod.

Place pears cut side up in baking dish. Pour lemon juice over, excess will spill over. Sprinkle with sugar. Top each pear half with margarine piece. Cover pan with foil, place on middle rack and bake 30 minutes or until tender. Remove foil. Turn oven to broil and shift baking pan to top rack. Broil 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in skillet over medium heat, shaking pan frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer pears to serving plates, drizzle with pan juice and sprinkle with pine nuts.

JAZZ APPLES Jazz Apples were developed in New Zealand from multiple cross pollinations of Braeburn and Royal Gala, producing 8,500 seedlings of which only one would be chosen for greatness. Developers tasted apples from over 5,000 seedlings before selecting the variety now known as Jazz.

The new kid on the produce block began tantalizing the taste buds of apple lovers around the globe, and over the last six years, enough Jazz trees have been planted around the world (including in the United States) to produce more than 500 million apples!

STORAGE: Store in a cool, dry place or refrigerate. Apples may seem crisper when they are chilled. Tip: Do NOT store near carrots! The ethylene gas apples release can turn carrots bitter.

Jazz, Cherry & Endive Salad- This salad is great all year round. Fresh cherries, when available, add an extra special touch.  2 Jazz apples, washed & cored, 1 C. fresh or dried cherries, 1 endive, 1 C. washed, shredded frisée, 1 C. washed, shredded radicchio, 1 C. finely sliced romaine,1/4 C. crumbled blue cheese, 1/4 C. coarsely chopped pecans, 1/4 C. apple cider vinegar, 2 T. Dijon mustard, 1/4 C. olive oil,1/4 C. honey, Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Mix the first 8 ingredients together. Put vinegar, mustard, oil and honey into a small bowl and whisk until all ingredients are blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

THE WORD FRUIT IS A DERIVATIVE OF THE WORD FRUCTUS. THE LATIN WORD FRUCTUS MEANS “ENJOYMENT.” HOW FITTING!

— SOME APPLE BITES TO CHEW ON —

• YEAH!  There are more than 7,000 different varieties of apples.

• GOOD! Apples are nature’s toothbrush! Eating an apple doesn’t actually cleanse your teeth, but biting and chewing one stimulates your gums, and the sweetness increases the flow of saliva, reducing tooth decay and lowering the level of mouth bacteria.

• GREAT! Adults who eat apples regularly are 37% less likely to have hyertention, according to a recent food database analysis.

• PASS THE APPLES! Packed with fiber and water, they fill us up, allow us to pass up high sugar treats, and aid in weight loss.

• OH, OH . . . They are one of five fruits (including blackberries, mangoes, plums and watermelon) who may ‘put gas in your tank.’

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Tracie Burket
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