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The gift of the gods
Scientific name: Pyrus
German name: Birne
Other names: Pyrus communis
Classification: Rosy
Family: rosaceous plants
Subfamily: Spiraeoideae
Tribute: Pyreae
Subtribute: Pyrinae
Genus: Pears
  • Water 84,3%
  • Carbohydrates 12,4%
  • Proteins 0,5%
  • Fats 0,3%
  • Crude fibre 3,2%

The sweet temptation

"Compare apples and pears" - everyone knows this saying. This is to express the fact that two things are compared with each other which are too different in their origin and principles to be compared meaningfully with each other. Although everyone understands the meaning of this proverb, the content is unfortunately not very truthful. Because the pear is, just like the apple, a rose plant and both are very similar in their peculiarity, taste and vitamin content. An important difference, however, is the amount of fruit acid, which gives the apple (4 - 15 gr/l) a very sour taste depending on the variety and maturity. The pear (3 gr/l) has considerably less fruit acid and is therefore a naturally sweet fruit. By the way, the saying "You shouldn't compare apples with pears" can be applied to the phrase "I ask for apples and you answer me with pears". which was already found in 1810 in a collection of proverbs (Sailer 1989: Die Weisheit auf der Gasse. Or sense and spirit of German proverbs).

Nutrition information

Quantity per 100 grams

Calories 57
Fat content 0,1 g
Saturated fatty acids 0 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids 0,1 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids 0,1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 116 mg
Carbohydrates 15 g
Roughage 3,1 g
Sugar 10 g
Protein 0,4 g

Origin and provenance



Things to know

Origin and provenance

The majority of the 2,500 pear varieties known today were already cultivated in France and Belgium in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the history of the pear's origin in Europe goes back much further in history. More than 3,000 years ago, the first pears were said to have been cultivated in Southeast Europe. They reached the trading power of Greece from the Caucasus, south of the Black Sea, via Anatolia, which today is predominantly part of the national territory of Turkey. Especially the Greek poet Homer praised the pear in his Odyssey as a "gift of the gods". This divinity was reflected in the following centuries again and again in the art as well as in Christian symbols.

Like many fruits, the pear continued its triumphal march with the settlers from Europe in the 16th century. But the cultivation of the sweet fruit was at first extremely difficult, because the plantations were destroyed again and again by mildew and hardly a steady cultivation seemed to succeed. Only when the settlers had advanced further west in the 18th century did they succeed in bringing in regular harvests in the area around the state of Oregon. The warmer climate and the nutrient-rich soil due to past volcanic activity provided an ideal area for cultivation. Nowadays, the plantations there are so specialized that a year-round supply of the ever-increasing American market is considered assured.

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The pear is popular not only because of its sweet taste. It is extremely healthy and already one pear covers seven percent of an adult's vitamin requirements. It also contains important minerals such as iron, potassium, copper, iodine, magnesium, phosphate and zinc. Particularly worth mentioning is the high proportion of folic acid, which is needed to accumulate the happiness hormone serotonin in the blood. The pear is a sweet fruit that also makes you happy!

Another special feature of the pear is its positive effect on people suffering from diabetes 2. Especially in children this disease has become a mass phenomenon due to poor or sugary nutrition. The pears of the varieties Starkrimson (red) and Bartlett (also known as red Williams Christ pear) contain large amounts of polyphenols and thus help to control the blood sugar level. Especially in patients who are already suffering from diabetes 2, the consumption of these pear varieties can reduce the dose of diabetes medication.


Similar to apples, most vitamins and nutrients are found in or directly under the skin of the pear. It is therefore advisable to eat the skin as well. However, it should be thoroughly cleaned beforehand and care should be taken that the pears are not sprayed with chemicals.

Unlike most fruits, the pear does not reach its edible ripeness status on the tree itself. It is therefore durable for a long time, but you should still make sure that it is not too firm when you buy it. Ideally, the pear can be pressed in a little with your finger without damaging the skin. You can also tell by the colour of the pear how ripe it is: the lighter a pear becomes, the riper it is.

A practical tip for the home: pears produce the ripening gas ethylene (chemical name: ethene) and react sensitively to it. If no ripe fruit is available, you can leave the pears covered with a plastic foil and after a few days the pears will be ripe. Pears also have the same effect on other fruits, such as kiwis and bananas. Who wants to store the sweet fruits a little longer, should make sure that pears from the supermarket do not stay longer than 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Things to know

Due to the low fruit acid content, pears are particularly easy to digest. Therefore they are very suitable as children and baby food. They also contain the often neglected mineral boron. This is needed in the body to enrich calcium, which is particularly important for bone formation. This is why baby food is very often made from pears. But pears are also just right for elderly people who have digestive problems.

The best known pear variety is probably by far the Williams Christ pear. Although this pear, like all pears, is extremely healthy, it is particularly famous for its tradition as a pear in a bottle. The way in which the pear comes into the bottle is simple and clever at the same time: As long as the pears are still very small, the bottle is simply hung on the tree and put over the still young pear. This way the pear grows into the bottle and can easily be infused with the alcohol or otherwise preserved in the bottle.

Similar fruits

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