A Luscious Fruit in Winter
All fruits did well this past season but it was especially a banner year for pears. Why do I mention this now? Because we’re still eating them and they are delicious. “Them” is actually just one variety — Passe Crassane, not a variety you’d find on a supermarket shelf, but which is available as a tree.
Timely harvest, storage, and ripening of pears melds art and science; since this was my first crop from Passe Crassane, I was wary as I sliced off a taste. It was like slicing through butter, a good omen. The flesh was “white, fine. melting, [sugary], perfumed, and agreeably sprightly,” to quote from The Pears of New York, U. P. Hedrick’s 1921 classic. Delicious.
The seed for this pear was sown, literally, by one Louis Boisbunel in Rouen, France in 1845. Ten years later, the tree showed its worth and the fruit made …