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Pears: Taylors Gold »« Pears: Hosui (Nashi)

Pears Nijisseiki (Nashi)

Pyrus pyrifolia


Description

Is it more like an apple or is it more like a pear? The nashi has the shape and crunchiness of an apple, but the skin, flavour, and texture of a pear.

In many countries known as an Asian pear, there are two typical varieties of nashi: the Hosui and the Nijisseiki. The Nijisseiki is a juicy, medium-sized fruit with translucent, greeny-yellow skin and mildly-flavoured flesh that increases in tartness towards the core, while the Hosui is sweeter and juicier. Despite popular belief, the nashi is not a cross between an apple and a pear; it’s more closely related to the pear than the apple, but is a separate species of its own.

Nashis are a source of vitamin C, folate, and fibre.

Choose fruit with a smooth skin that feels heavy for its size, which indicates plenty of juice. Nashis will stay fresh for a couple of weeks at room temperature, and can also be stored in the fridge for several more weeks.

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History

Nashis are native to China, Japan, and Korea, and once graced the tables of Japanese emperors. They’ve been grown commercially in Asia for hundreds of years, but only for about 25 years in Australasia. In 2010, they were introduced to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus after more than a decade of being investigated as a food source.

Uses

Nashis are typically eaten raw, as their gritty texture and high water content doesn’t make them ideal for cooking. They’re excellent in salads, and unlike apples and pears don’t turn brown when exposed to the air.

Try making a sweet, savoury bruschetta by spreading toasted ciabatta with blue or brie cheese, and piling on top a mixture of diced nashi, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, walnuts and rocket or watercress.

Facts

In countries where nashis are popular, they’re often used instead of sugar to sweeten vinegar or soy-based dishes.



Pears: Taylors Gold »« Pears: Hosui (Nashi)

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