France is renowned for its food and wine culture, and it’s no surprise that it has a national fruit. Unlike many other countries, however, France National Fruit is not one that immediately springs to mind. Instead, it’s the humble pear that holds this title. Pears are a beloved fruit in France, and they have a long and fascinating history. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about France National Fruit – the pear.
What is a France National Fruit?
Pears are a type of fruit that belong to the same family as apples, quinces, and peaches. They are typically a rounded shape, with a narrow top and wider bottom. Pears have a juicy and sweet flesh that can vary in texture depending on the variety of pear. There are hundreds of different types of pears grown around the world, each with their unique taste, texture, and appearance.
The History of France National Fruit
Pears have been grown in France for centuries, with records showing that they were being cultivated in the country as far back as the Roman era. Over time, pears became an essential part of French cuisine, and they were frequently used in both sweet and savory dishes. The French also began to develop new varieties of pears, with some of the most famous being the Beurré d’Anjou, the Williams pear, and the Comice pear.
In the 17th century, the French king Louis XIV was particularly fond of pears and even had a dedicated pear orchard at Versailles. Pears continued to be a popular fruit throughout the centuries, and they remain an essential part of French cuisine today.
Why is the Pear France National Fruit?
In 2005, the French government officially declared the pear as the country’s national fruit. The decision was made based on several factors, including the pear’s cultural significance in France and the country’s long history of pear cultivation. Additionally, pears are one of the most widely consumed fruits in France, with an average of 7.6 kilograms of pears per person consumed each year.
Popular Pear Varieties in France
As mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of different pear varieties grown around the world, but some of the most popular varieties in France include:
Beurré d’Anjou: A sweet and juicy pear with a soft, melting texture. It’s often used in baking and desserts.
Comice: A large, sweet, and juicy pear with a buttery texture. It’s often eaten fresh or used in salads.
Williams: Also known as the Bartlett pear, this variety is sweet and aromatic, with a soft and juicy texture. It’s commonly used in desserts, jams, and preserves.
Conference: A sweet and slightly tangy pear with a firm texture. It’s often used in cooking and baking.
How to Enjoy France National Fruit
Pears are a versatile fruit that can be enjoyed in many different ways in French cuisine. Some of the most popular ways to enjoy pears include:
Poached pears: Pears are poached in a syrup of sugar, water, and spices until they are tender and infused with flavor. They can be served as a dessert or as a side dish with meat or cheese.
Tarte Tatin: A classic French dessert made with caramelized pears and puff pastry.
Salads: Pears can be sliced thinly and added to salads for a sweet and juicy crunch.
Cheese plates: Pears pair well with a variety of cheeses, including Roquefort, Brie, and Camembert.
Q: Is the pear the only fruit considered a national fruit in France?
A: No, there are several other foods that are considered national foods in France, including baguettes, croissants, cheese, and wine.
Q: What is the best way to select ripe pears?
A: The best way to select ripe pears is to gently press on the stem end of the pear. If it gives slightly, then the pear is ripe and ready to eat. Pears should also have a sweet and fragrant smell when they are ripe.
Q: Can pears be grown in other parts of the world?
A: Yes, pears can be grown in many different parts of the world, including the United States, Canada, Italy, and China.
Q: Are pears healthy?
A: Yes, pears are a healthy fruit that are low in calories and high in fiber. They also contain vitamins C and K, as well as several minerals.
Q: What is the best way to store pears?
A: Pears should be stored at room temperature until they are ripe, and then they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. It’s best to store pears away from other fruits, as they can produce a gas that can cause other fruits to ripen and spoil more quickly.
France’s national fruit, the pear, is a beloved and versatile fruit that has a long and fascinating history in French cuisine. Whether enjoyed fresh, baked, or poached, pears are a staple ingredient in many classic French dishes. With so many delicious varieties to choose from, it’s no wonder that pears continue to be a favorite fruit in France and around the world.
- “History of the Pear” by Dave Wilson Nursery: https://www.davewilson.com/growing-your-own-fruit-trees/pear-trees
- “The French National Fruit: La Poire” by Frenchly: https://frenchly.us/the-french-national-fruit-la-poire/
- “All About Pears” by USA Pears: https://www.usapears.org/all-about-pears/