Asian pears are very firm, crisp, juicy and sweet. The crisp and juicy texture and apple-like flavors of Asian pears have lead many people to refer to this fruit as the apple-pear. However, the Asian pear is not a cross between apples and pears. Asian pears originated in China and Japan and have been grown in these countries for at least 3000 years. There is no need for store-level ripening. Asian pears ripen on the tree and are ready to eat when harvested. The long storage life of the Asian pear is one of its strong marketing points. They will store for 10 to 14 days at room temperature; three to four months in the crisper of the refrigerator and up to three months in a commercial fruit storage facility. To serve an Asian pear in a traditional Asian way, peel it and slice it crosswise through the center. This method of slicing reveals a star-shaped center, and is an attractive presentation when served with other fresh fruits, or cheese.
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