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Winter Nellis Pears
Inventory, lb : 0
This item was last sold on : 12/19/19
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Winter Nelis pears are small to medium in size, averaging 6-7 centimeters in diameter, and are round to slightly conical in shape with a large bottom that tapers to a smaller, rounded neck. The skin has a green-yellow base that becomes more yellow when ripe and is covered in patches and spots of thin brown russet. The cream-colored to ivory flesh is smooth, moist, fine-grained, and dense encasing a central core with a few black-brown seeds. When ripe, Winter Nelis pears are aromatic, described as having a melting quality, and are juicy with a rich and sweet, sugary flavor.
Winter Nelis pears are available in the fall through winter.
Winter Nelis pears, botanically classified as Pyrus communis, are an heirloom variety that dates back to the early 1800s and is a member of the Rosaceae family along with peaches and apples. Named for an amateur Belgian horticulturalist, Jean Charles Nelis, the winter pear is also known by the name Bonnes de Malines, the French word for its town of origin and as Nelis d’Hiver. Winter Nelis pears are not produced commercially on a large scale due to their peculiar, russeted appearance, but are a favorite for growing in home gardens and private orchards for their buttery flesh and sweet flavor.
Winter Nelis pears are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and iron.
Winter Nelis pears are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as baking and poaching. The russet skin should be peeled and removed prior to consumption, but the flesh can be eaten fresh, out-of-hand, sliced into sandwiches, salads, pasta, fruit platters, cheese boards, and grain-based bowls. Winter Nelis pears are also ideal for desserts and can be used in tarts, bread, scones, or muffins. The sweet flavor of the winter pear compliments hard and soft cheeses, salty nuts, arugula, pomegranate seeds, grapes, apples, cranberries, quince, honey, dry white wine, vanilla, and caramel. Keep pears at room temperature for a couple of days until the area around the stem is soft to the touch. Winter Nelis pears will also keep well for several months when stored in cold storage such as the refrigerator.
Though the Winter Nelis pear bears two French nicknames including the Nelis d’Hiver and Bonnes de Malines, which translates to “the good of Malines,” it wasn’t grown in France until the late 1820s, after it was introduced to both England and the United States. Some experts believe that the pear was known by the name Bonnes de Malines well before it was named for the man who first made it known to the horticultural world.
Winter Nelis pears are native to Belgium, in an area just north of Brussels. The late season pears were introduced by well-known amateur horticulturalist Jean Charles Nelis. Experts believe the pear was likely discovered in the last years of Napoleon’s reign leading up to the early days of the 19th century. The Winter Nelis pear was originally grown in the town of Mechelen, or Malines in French, from seed. It was introduced in 1818, first in England and then in 1823 to the United States. Winter Nelis pears are commonly grown in the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, and the United States, but it is not commercially produced in the United States and is more likely found in home orchards or through small growers at local farmer’s markets.
Recipes that include Winter Nellis Pears. One is easiest, three is harder.
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About 404 days ago, 12/18/19
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