Pick of the Season: Pear Ideas and Fun Facts

Pears have been around since the dinosaur days. Check out these fun facts about the shapely fruit and ideas for playful ways to enjoy it.

Is your kid a pearmaniac?
    It's a real word. In 19th-century New England, there was such a craze for pears that the term "pearmania" was coined to describe it. Gentlemen farmers competed to produce the tastiest specimens and savored the fruits in the library — much as they would retire after dinner to smoke cigars. Once Californians began growing and shipping pears across the country by train, it was the birth of the populist pear.

    If your child's enthusiasm for the fruit is less than manic, maybe he has yet to taste a good one.

Play with Your Food
  • Stage a pear-rolling contest: Each kid chooses a pear and lays it down at a starting line. Using only a plastic spoon, kids must roll their pears to the finish line.
  • Have kids give pears faces by pushing whole cloves into them (if pears are too hard, use a toothpick to pierce them first). Arrange them in a bowl so that the faces peer out.
  • Make fondue by melting a 14-ounce package of caramels with 2/3 cup of half-and-half and 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes. Stir, slice up a pear, and dunk away.

Fun Facts
  • Perhaps they were a favorite of T. rex: Pears grew wild in prehistoric times.
  • Pears ripen from the inside out so, unlike most fruits, they improve in flavor and texture after picking. (Put them in a paper bag to speed ripening.)

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