EN on Foods

September 2009 Issue

Asian Pears, A Pear by Any Other Name

The Folklore. The Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) is known by many names such as apple-pear, Chinese pear, Nashi and sand pear. The oldest known of cultivated pears, the Asian pear dates back 3,000 years to China and Japan, perhaps even back to the Stone Age. Chinese railroad workers brought the seeds to California during the Gold Rush. It is the Chinese symbol of immortality (pear trees live a very long time) and prosperity, and is believed to carry medicinal properties.

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