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Winter Nellis Pears
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Winter Nelis pears are small, round to slightly conical, and are about 6 to 7 centimeters in diameter at maturity. The flesh is a green-yellow covered almost entirely in a thin brown russet, and it becomes a bit more yellow when ripe. The yellowish-cream colored flesh of the Winter Nelis pear has a smooth, crisp texture. The pears are harvested when still firm and unripe. Once ripe, Winter Nelis pears are aromatic, and the flesh is described as rich, sweet and juicy.
Winter Nelis pears are available in the fall through the winter months.
Winter Nelis Pears are an heirloom variety of Pyrus communis that date back to the early 1800s. Named for an amateur Belgian horticulturalist, Jean Charles Nelis, the winter pear is also known by the name Bonnes de Malines, the French word for its town of origin. The European pear is also known as the Nelis d’Hiver.
Winter Nelis pears are a good source of vitamin C, fiber and iron. Pears are naturally low in calories and in sugar.
Winter Nelis pears are ideal for desserts or fresh eating. Peel away the russet and slice the fruit for tarts, breads, scones or muffins. Add Winter Nelis pears to a green salad or fruit platter. The sweet flavor of the winter pear compliments hard and soft cheeses and salty nuts. Keep unriped pears at room temperature until the area around the stem is soft to the touch. Winter Nelis pears will store for several months in cold storage, lasting well into the winter months.
Though the Winter Nelis pear bears two French nicknames: Nelis d’Hiver and Bonnes de Malines (which translates to “the good of Malines”), it wasn’t grown in France until the late 1820s, after it was introduced to both England and the United States. Some experts believe that the pear was known by the name Bonnes de Malines well before it was named for the man who first made it known to the horticultural world.
Winter Nelis pears are native to Belgium, in an area just north of Brussels. The late season pears were introduced by well-known amateur horticulturalist Jean Charles Nelis. Experts believe the pear was likely discovered in the last years of Napoleon’s reign leading up to the early days of the 19th century. The Winter Nelis pear was originally grown in the town of Mechelen (Malines in French) from seed. It was introduced in 1818, first in England and then in 1823 to the United States. Winter Nelis pears are commonly grown in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Europe. The winter variety is not commercially produced in the United States, and is more likely found in home orchards or through small growers at local farmer’s markets.
Recipes that include Winter Nellis Pears. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Common Sense Homesteading||Cranberry Pear Jam|