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"Fragrant Pears" At San Gabriel Superstore [moved from L.A. board]

Ran across a fruit I had never seen in a Chinese or other supermarket before at the San Gabriel Superstore at Valley Bl. and San Gabriel Bl. They were called fragrant pears and were selling for $1.09 a pound. It was shaped like a regular pear, colored like a regular pear (green with orangeish areas), but was the size of a large lemon. The texture of the fruit was like an Asian pear, but the taste was not that of an Asian pear or a regular pear. I don't know how to describe it. Anybody know more about this fruit?

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  1. They're small ya-li pears and you're right, the taste is different. They were handing out samples in the Focus Plaza 99 Ranch on Saturday.

    1. Recently discovered these myself and they're delicious! The taste is really "fragrant in a sort of floral way and the texture is very light while being very juicy. They're very refreshing and I like how they're not overly huge like other Asian pears. Next up to try are grapples ..

      2 Replies
      1. re: TracyS

        I love grapples. :) It's difficult to explain, and of course there's more apple than grape - since you are biting into an apple - but it's sweet and not too tart, just a right mix.

        1. re: TracyS

          Anyone know what is the chemical that they inundate the apples with to achieve the concord grape aroma? I am guessing its 1-thio-methyl salicylate. I have used this compound in the lab and it smells EXACTLY like a grapple. I think it may be authentic "grape" aroma, but I'm not sure. Anyone else have a aguess as to what chemical is making the apple into a grapple?

          1. New York Times had a write-up on these. They're from Xinjiang and take 3 weeks to get here.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/15/din...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chandavkl

              Interesting article.

              The Yali that I get has neither tough flesh nor bland flavor although I do agree that the Xinjiang fragrant pear is more delicate in texture.

              1. re: Chandavkl

                soooo.... that means its coming by slow boat from China?

                ;-P

              2. The fragrant pears are not the same as the yali pears. Ilike the fragrant pears much better than any other kind, except for the ones you can get in the Far East, of course.

                1. They're all over the place this weekend. 99 cents a pound at Hawaii Market and Valley Supermarket (Quong Hoa).

                  1 Reply
                  1. Just ate one that I got while on a trip to SF.

                    Comparing them to Asian pear is like comparing pate to chopped liver. Yes, it has a nice scent, but the killer for me is the texture. It's like biting into a lighter than air crispy potato chip.

                    Now I've to check if 99 Ranch has it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: notmartha

                      All the Chinese supermarkets in the L.A. carry them. Surprisingly they seem to be cheaper in the L.A. supermarkets than on Stockton St. in SF Chinatown, which is usually my barometer for the cheapest price at which fresh produce can be sold. I suspect the L.A. stores are pricing them as loss leaders.

                    2. I picked up some fragrant pears for the first time last month when my local Trader Joe's had them (they may still) and definitely loved how amazingly crunchy and juicy they were. They also seem to have long shelf life (which is good for me since I'm never prompt enough about eating my fruit to prevent lots of mushy stuff being tossed in the trash).

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: allegro805

                        Good to know that they keep. Actually I thought I have to let them ripen (until I re-read the chowhound articles) so it was sitting in room temp for about 5 days. Still so good.

                        1. re: allegro805

                          Does anyone know why the pears keep for so long? Is it natural? I leave them sitting out or in the fridge for long periods of time and they're still good. Any articles anyone can point me to? Thank you very much!