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Buerré Bosc PEARS  It’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.

Poached Bosc Pears – 4 ripe Bosc pears, 2 c. granulated sugar, 4 T. unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 (750 ml) bottle Merlot, 1 vanilla bean split, 1/2 lemon, juiced. Peel pears, leaving stems intact, and cut a thin slice from the bottom of each to enable pears to stand upright. Set aside.

Put sugar in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and melt over moderate heat until it begins to caramelize. Continue to cook, keeping the sugar constantly circulating. Carefully cook until it is a deep golden caramel. Stir in the butter with caution, as it may bubble. Simmer and stir until sauce develops, about 5 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape in the vanilla bean seeds.

Carefully arrange pears in the poaching liquid, completely submerged. Add water if needed. Simmer, turning occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes. Pears are done when a knife comes out easily when inserted into the fattest part of the pear. Finish off with lemon juice to wake up the flavor. Gently remove the pears to a serving dish, cut side down. Pour the wine syrup over the pears. Serve with Gorgonzola and candied walnuts for the perfect treat.

MANGOS — The mango has been grown in Southeast Asia for more than 4,000 years. Mango groves have spread to many parts of the tropical and sub-tropical world, anywhere the climate allows the mango to take root. This fruit is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as a good source of potassium and contains beta carotene. It adds a wonderful tropical flavor to fruit salads, green salads, smoothies and relishes, not to mention the pleasure to be had from eating one out of hand.

How do you slice a Mango? Stand the Mango stem down on your cutting board, and hold it firmly. Placing the knife about 1/4″ from the widest center line, cut down along the seed. Repeat this cut on the other side. The resulting ovals of mango flesh are known as “the cheeks.” (What is left in the middle is mostly the large, oval mango seed.) Cut parallel slices into the flesh of the Mango cheeks, being careful not to cut through the skin. Turn the sliced “cheek” inside-out by pushing the skin up from beneath. Scrape the mango slices off the skin using a knife or spoon.

Ripening & Storage: They are ready to enjoy when slightly soft to the touch and when they yield to gentle pressure, like a peach. Ripen mangos at room temperature. To speed ripening, place in a paper bag overnight. A ripe mango can be refrigerated for a few days.

Mango Brûlée – Simply elegant, it offers a taste of the tropics! 

2 mangoes, 4 t. brown sugar, 4 t. rum or orange juice, 1 lime, cut into wedges,  Preheat broiler. Slice mangos into cheeks, using the hints above. With a paring knife, make crisscross cuts through the flesh, cutting up to but not through the skin. Sprinkle 1 t. brown sugar over each mango cheek, then drizzle each with 1 teaspoon rum or juice. Set mango halves on a broiler pan or baking sheet. Broil until tops are light golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with lime wedges. Makes 4 servings

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Tracie Burket
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