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|Food Buzz: History of Pears|
|Food Fable: Pears|
Bambinella pears are very small in size, averaging 2-3 centimeters in diameter, and are round in shape, similar to cherries with a thick, brown stem. The smooth, firm skin has a green base with some patches of pink blush and can be easily damaged showing brown nicks and marks. The flesh is crunchy, moist, and ivory to white with a small central, fibrous core containing a few black-brown seeds. Bambinella pears are very juicy and crisp with an intense, extremely sweet flavor.
Bambinella pears are available from mid-summer through fall.
Bambinella pears, botanically classified as Pyrus communis, are the tiny fruits of a deciduous tree and are members of the Rosaceae or rose family along with peaches and apples. Grown in Malta, Bambinella pears are valued for their small size and very sweet flavor. Traditionally consumed fresh as a snack fruit, Bambinella pears are also grown and exported to the United Kingdom as their novel size has become popular for children’s lunch boxes.
Bambinella pears contain some vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Bambinella pears can be used in both raw and cooked applications such as baking or boiling, but the crisp flesh is best showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The tiny size of Bambinella pears makes them ideal for snacks, especially for kids. They can be packed in lunch boxes or used as a bite-sized sweet treat. Bambinella pears can also be used in desserts such as cakes, muffins, and pudding. Bambinella pears compliment thyme, honey, macadamia nuts, cream, or crème fraîche. They will keep 7-10 days when stored in a cool and dry place. Bambinella pears ripen best at room temperature and can then be stored in the refrigerator for extended use.
Bambinella pears arrived in the United Kingdom less than ten years ago, but they are increasing in popularity as consumers are valuing the fruit’s novel size. The pear market in the United Kingdom is dominated by the conference pear. Supermarkets and growers are interested in broadening the number of varieties available to British consumers and are looking for new pears to develop, such as Bambinella. Farmers in the United Kingdom are now cultivating Bambinella pears to showcase a small variety with crisp and sweet flesh and are beginning to compete with the fruits being imported from Malta.
Bambinella pears are native to the Mediterranean island of Malta and have been cultivated there for over one thousand years. Since 2009, Bambinella pears have been imported to the United Kingdom via Marks & Spencer, a grocer, and recently, a few select farms have begun Bambinella cultivation in Kent. Today Bambinella pears are available at specialty grocers and farmers markets in Malta, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Recipes that include Bambinella Pears. One is easiest, three is harder.
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