[NAFEX] Annurca (more on fruit texture)

kieran or donna redherring at tnaccess.com
Fri Apr 1 20:28:54 EST 2005

I never seem to have computer time anymore, so I'm always behind on these
discussions.  Regarding apple texture, I know some people hate Macs because
they call them "mushy".  I like both soft apples and crisp apples, but don't
like them mealy.  One of the older type red delicious is great eating, but
when they go mealy, all the fun goes out of them.

David Consolvo wrote:
 Now I understand better the European efforts in the last few centuries to
develop "buerre" pears, i.e. soft as butter.  To me those pears have seemed
so inferior to the crisp, juicy Asian pears,

Ginda wrote:
I've never really enjoyed an asian pear - sweet, crisp, but no
flavor to speak of, at least in the ones I've tried.

I find this most amusing.  I adored the Conference pears in England, but had
never tasted an Asian pear when we went back to Europe for a few months in
1990.  I had a European pear on the table when a Japanese girl came over.  I
asked her what she thought about European pears, and cut the pear in half.
She ate her half, but kept saying, "Not juicy enough".  My half was perfect.
At NAFEX meetings I tasted Oriental pears after that, and I realized part of
what she was talking about.  If you want to understand the attraction of
Asian pears, peel one.  They are nothing but crunchy sugar water, quite
attractive actually, in their own way.  But had my Japanese friend been more
articulate, or perhaps less polite, she would probably also have said that
the European pears had "too much flavor"  or maybe that they were sort of
overripe or cloying, with flavors that didn't belong there, maybe almost too
banana-like.  These richer flavors were lost in the fire blight resistant
Asian crosses.
    I notice that southerners who were raised on crunchy pears like them
best.  Unfortunately they don't know enough to pick their Kieffers early to
get them crunchy but not gritty.  I like Pineapple, which tastes good and
can soften up enough to drip down your elbow, but it never gets buttery.
I'd grow butter pears here if I could, but have to make do with what likes
it here.  I guess Seckel is supposed to be good, but the skin always seems
bitter to me.  The Tenn tree I pick from some years is quite nice, but you
sure have to pick it at the right time.  Jeff Poppen gave us some Magness
pears once , and they were SUPERB!
    There is a pear here, I'd like it identified but unfortunately we are a
few weeks too late for me to collect scionwood, as I know some of you will
want some after you read this. I have been calling it the Lassater pear, I
think I have sent a couple of you scions in the past.  It is a big apple
shaped pear, the tree is quite spreading and more prone to fireblight than
Pineapple or Kieffer.  My neighbors have one tree of this variety.  Mine
were grafted from 4 trees 35 miles away though.  My source says his in-laws
planted 3 of these trees in 1903, and that about 1990 he got someone to
graft a dozen trees from the last survivor.   These pears are a huge hit
with Tennesseans I have offered them to, they are crunchy but also juicy,
and have more flavor in my opinion than the brown skinned Oriental pears.
The fruit turns from deep green, when they make excellent pies, to light
yellow green, when they are best for eating, to brilliant yellow, when they
become soft and insipid.  At all stages they are wonderful dried, and stick
in your teeth like gummy bears.  They are ripe here in August, bringing lots
of wasps and giant hornets, and depending on the weather, may hang on the
tree through September.  I think I picked them for nearly 2 months last
year.  They don't have to be picked early, as they are not prone to
grittiness.  I think they would keep pretty well in the fridge.    Donna

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