Clapp's Favorite Pears
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|Food Buzz: History of Pears|
|Food Fable: Pears|
Clapp’s Favorite pear is medium to large in size and is oblong in shape with a large bulbous base that slightly tapers to a small rounded neck. The thin skin is smooth with a golden yellow base and is covered in prominent lenticels and patches of red blushing connecting to a long, light brown stem. The soft flesh is cream-colored to ivory and is moist, fine-grained, and encases a central core with small black-brown seeds. When ripe, Clapp’s Favorite pear is crisp, aromatic, and juicy with a mild, sweet flavor balanced with a little acidity.
Clapp's Favorite pear is available in the late summer through early fall.
Clapp's Favorite pear, botanically classified as Pyrus communis, grows on an upright tree that can reach up to four meters in height and are members of the Rosaceae family along with apples and peaches. Originally from Massachusetts, Clapp’s Favorite pear is an old American variety that has been compared to the Bartlett pear as it ripens about two weeks before and appears similar in shape. Clapp’s Favorite pear is not commercially cultivated because it has a very short shelf life. It should be picked before ripening to avoid core rot and will only last for a couple of days after harvest. Even though it has a short shelf life, Clapp’s Favorite pears are considered by home gardeners to be one of the best fresh eating pears for its delicate texture and juicy consistency.
Clapp’s Favorite pear contains vitamin C, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, and potassium.
Clapp’s Favorite pear is best suited for raw applications, but it can also be used for canning. Their juicy flesh, soft texture, and sweet flavor are showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand, and they can be sliced and mixed into leafy green salads, fruit salads, or sliced on top of desserts. They can also be canned and preserved for later use. Clapp’s Favorite pears compliment gorgonzola cheese, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, strawberry, apple, spinach, chicken, oregano, rosemary, parsley, mint, cilantro, cinnamon, and honey. It is important to note that Clapp’s Favorite pears do not store well and should be eaten or processed quickly. Choose pears that are firm rather than very soft and that are free from bruising. They are ready to eat when the stem end gives slightly to pressure.
In the United States, modern consumers prefer pears to be soft when ripe, as pears are often favored for fresh eating. Historically, pears tended to be harder and had to be bred to fit changing preferences. Europeans in the 17th and 18th centuries bred softer pears, which then traveled to the New World.
The first Clapp's Favorite pear tree was discovered as a chance seedling in the 1850s in Dorchester, Massachusetts, which is now a neighborhood of Boston. The tree grew on Thaddeus Clapp's property, leading to its present-day name. Clapp’s Favorite pear was introduced to the market in 1860, and today it can be found at farmers markets and in private orchards in the northern UK and the northeastern United States.
Recipes that include Clapp's Favorite Pears. One is easiest, three is harder.