Pears, like apples which are related, come in thousands of varieties. However, unlike apples, their fine granular flesh is more fragile and often improves in flavor after they are picked. Pears are wide at the bottom than at the top while only a few varieties are spherical in shape. Pears are not colored as most fruits including apples with their skin color ranging from dull brown to soft green. They are very fragile and easily bruised when ripe thus are always harvested before they are fully mature. The fruit ripens from the inside before it is evident on the skin. Pears need to be washed thoroughly just like any other fruit before they are consumed or processed.
Uses And Benefits Of Pears
Pears can be consumed as fresh, canned, juice, or dried. Pears juice can be used in jellies and jam in combination with other fruits including berries. Fermented pear juice is made in a way similar to cider juice from the apple. Pears can be cooked but only edible after hours of cooking. Pear fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber and other unique nutrients. It is packed with health benefits with the fibers offering protection against colon cancer. Pears also have low calories, but high in fiber content which is essential for controlling body weight and cholesterol levels. The fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and other minerals such as copper, iron, and manganese. Pears have also been suggested to treat diseases such as colitis and gout. Apart from the pear fruit, pear wood is also important in the furniture manufacturing and is also often used to make high-quality woodwind instruments. The wood can also be used in carving and as firewood to produce aromatic smoke for roasting meat.
Pears can be grown in a wide range of soil and can fit within a small space making it a good choice for gardeners. Choosing the right variety is key to achieving quality fruits. It is advisable that two varieties of pears be planted since cross-pollination will be required to produce fruits. However, the two types must be compatible with each other. The soil must be well drained and fertile. The standard space between trees should be about 20 to 25 feet. The young trees should be regularly watered to help them establish roots. Fertilizer can only be applied in the early years of the plant while pruning should be done regularly to help the leaves and branches spread outward and not upward. One should watch out for diseases and pests such as fire blight and mites which can delay the maturity of the tree. Harvesting should be done when the fruit is almost mature when it is still hard.
Top Pear Producing Countries
China is the leading producing country of pears in the world recording a production of 17.3 million metric tons in 2013. Pears are mainly produced in large scale in China with several large pears farms in the country. The US is the second largest pears producer and recorded 0.795 million metric tons during the same period. Other top pears producing countries include Italy, Argentina, and Turkey. The total world production in 2013 stood at over 25 million metric tons according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.
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