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I have only recently become a fan of pears. I didn't eat them as a kid and for me they were an acquired taste. There are thousands of varieties but only a few are found in the market. Tree ripened pears are lovely but most of the year pears are available as underripe fruit. Unlike many fruits and vegetables, pears hold up pretty well when picked before they ripen.

Good quality Anjou pears are full of sweet and succulent juice. They are short and squat without the classic tapered neck. Because they are slightly soft they are not my first choice for cooking.

Bartlett pears should be my favorite because I am descended from Bartletts. They are a little soft and grainy for cooking but are excellent pears for eating raw.

Bosc are winter pears and are have a tartness that cuts through the sweet pear flavor. I like bosc pears best because they are pear shaped and somewhat firmer. That firm texture lends itself well to cooking and the true pear shape is perfect for presentation.

1 pear = 161 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, <1g protein, 25g carbohydrates, 0mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol