[NAFEX] Asian pears and oiling figs

Martha L. Davis martha_davis at earthlink.net
Sun Sep 9 19:19:24 EDT 2007

Regarding Asian pears,

They are supposed to be fulling ripened on the tree.  Light skinned ones should show a golden blush when ripe.  Once picked not further ripening occurs.  One hint is to peel them.  They are not bred for good quality peels as most Chinese and Japanese traditionally peel the fruit.  Larger fruit develops better flavor and sugars.  They do dry well so the roasting suggestion will probably improve them.. When I had access to dropped and somewhat immature fruit.  I dried them, canned them with lemon and almond.  I also canned them with ginger and with coriander seed and with vanilla.  The canning liquid was either sugar syrup or apple juice.  I ran into a recipe for European pear, Asian pear and quince compote.  It called for 1-2 of each fruit pealed cores and cut into sections.  Put into a covered saucepan with a small amount of honey and a pinch of allspice.  Cook over very low heat until tender.  Most of the time the fruit is juicy enough that you do not need to add liquid but watch out for burning.

Regarding oiling figs.  I've tried it before when I lived in Illinois.  It does seem to work. I think it can gain you a few weeks.  What I know I learned from Richard Moyer.  Wait until figs are full size before oiling.  Oiling works primarily on open eyed fruit.  What you are doing is sealing the eye with oil to trap the ethylene the fruit naturally produces so that it speeds up ripening.  Richard has done controlled studies oiling one branch and not another.  For his figs it works well, but I do believe that they have to achieve a certain developmental stage before it does much good.


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