A Short History of the Pear

pear-fruit

Pears have been cultivated for over three thousand years and are even speculated to have been discovered in the wild during the Stone Age – that’s how long its history is.

Said to be originally from Europe and western Asia, this bell-shaped fruit was tagged in the epic titled The Odyssey by Homer as “the gifts of the gods” because of its heavenly sweet taste.  It was also a luxurious fruit in the courts of Louis XIV.

In ancient Rome, there were six cultivated varieties, and then later on, 56 races have been mentioned in historical records.

The pear was brought to the United States of America in 1620 by early colonists who by then, has been importing and getting their supply of pear from France.

In 1640, only 60 pear cultivars were known in England and 232 varieties were enumerated in a late medieval Italian list.  As times goes on, more and more varieties of pear showed up.  This can be attributed to a couple of Belgian and French cultivators.

A fruit that has been looked at as better than apples during classical times, more so by the Chinese, pears did not have the juicy and soft flesh it has today.  But continuous breeding resulted to the development of characteristics we are currently more familiar with.

At present, the world’s supply of pears comes from China, Italy and the United Sates.

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