Pears have kept their culinary popularity since ancient times. They belong to the rose family, along with the apple and the quince, they have been cultivated for centuries and they are classic European fruit, which was often served on royal tables. Thanks to a high level of sugar, pears are certainly an ideal healthy option for all of those with a sweet tooth who find it hard to resist the tempting sweets.
You can sweeten your day with a light pear smoothie or a milkshake, and pears go really well with bananas and berries, such as blackberries or raspberries. If you'd prefer a more refreshing version, combine pears with carrots and ginger. For healthy lunches, pears are an ideal accompaniment to light salads and they are unbeatable when paired with cheese. Their sweet taste and soft texture goes well with strong flavors, so you can serve it with rocket, nuts and sheep milk or goat milk hard aged cheese.
The sweet taste of pear goes really well also with venison, chicken, duck or fish. Pears can be a side dish for meat dishes, barbecued or baked in the oven with the meat. Apart from giving the meat a unique flavor, it will also prevent it from getting dry and help it create a soft texture.
In the most famous restaurant of Pag island and one of the best restaurants in Croatia, which is also a member of the prestigious JRE association, Boškinac restaurant, owner Boris Šuljić and chef de cuisine Matija Bregeš constantly bring their inspiration, found in local ingredients, to the menu. The chef de cuisine explains how the pear appeared on the menu.
- We wanted to soften the specific flavor of the domestic rooster (pivac) with fruit and also neutralize the grease from the drumsticks and thighs. The pear, that we use to make a gel, fits perfectly into this combination – he says.
For classic Mediterranean combinations, the pear seems to be a popular fruit again. In Đir restaurant in Split, owner Vicko Majić shares with us their tuna tartare recipe.
- The best pieces of wild fresh caught tuna are used for a tuna tartare. First, the tuna is chopped by hand into small cubes, along with pears and onions, then it is all mixed together, adding olive oil and lemon juice. When it's done, it sits in the fridge for a short while and then it's served. We serve it with white creamy garlic sauce. The preparation of tuna tartare takes 30 minutes maximum, and we always prepare it as it is ordered, so it's always served fresh to our guests – he points out.
Delicious pears are prepared not only with sea water fish, but also fresh water fish. They often serve caramelized pears in the restaurant Korana Srakovčić hotel in Karlovac, and Ivana Poljak reveals what they serve them with.
- Pear dishes are prepared during the entire year, but, for our specialties in the season, we most often use the Abate Fetel pear and our chefs caramelize it according to standard recipe and we serve it as a side dish to trout fillet or beefsteak. Pears are served cut in slices and fit really well into these combinations – she says.
For a sweet ending, we bring you the world known dessert from Đir restaurant in Split, pears in red wine.
- The peeled pear is cooked in red wine first, usually Merlot. We add cloves, sugar, some Maraska sour cherry juice and lemon to the wine. When the pear cools off, we serve it with whipped cream – they say.