The pear is sometimes called the 'king of fruits' because of its refined taste, shape, and texture. The fruit is always harvested when the pears are still hard; if you were to pick them once the ripening process had already started, they would become mushy and fall apart. Pears are native to China but are cultivated in abundance in the Netherlands, particularly in the Betuwe region. Some well-known varieties are Conference and Gieser Wildeman (cooking pear).
Basic techniques: poaching, caramelising, frying, preserving, slicing, puréeing, grilling, marinating, infusing.
Taste combinations: honey, cinnamon, juniper berries, nuts, port, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, blue cheese, star anise, game, sweet pepper, earl grey.