Seasonal Produce: Pears
Second only to their botanical cousin, apples, in popularity and production, U.S. pears are grown in California, Washington and Oregon where the peak harvest is during the winter. While the basic shape changes little between pear varieties, differences in texture and flavor affect whether the fruit is served raw, poached or baked. Pears are not allowed to fully ripen on the tree to prevent a gritty texture and produce the best flavor. Their sweet fragrance, delicate floral taste and soft, juicy flesh makes them an ideal choice for all types of winter and holiday meals—appetizers, salads and desserts.