Snow Pears or Pyrus Nivalis
Traditional Chinese Name:
雪梨 (xuě lí)
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I love snow pears. This is the edible fruit from the snow pear tree and this fruit is juicy, has high water content, slightly sweet, very crunchy, and has a light, lively flavour to it.
They grow round, like soft balls, and have a very hard, rough exterior and an even crunchier interior. You’ll find this type of tree or fruit in cooler climates.
Snow pears tend to be more cooling, or helps relieve heat from the body. You can find this ingredient both in a dried and fresh version for soups and Chinese desserts.
Some nice substitutes if you can’t find snow pears are crystal pears (bigger and crunchier and have a more transparent flesh), or apples. Apples are also a yummy substitute for your dessert or soup. You’ll sometimes find a combination of apples and snow pears as well.
Where can I buy it and cost?
In most asian supermarkets, this fruit tends to be in season all year round
- Western supermarkets will also sometimes carry this fruit
- Be sure to buy snow pears that are firm and blemish free (if the fruit is soft and mushy, it’s likely already going bad)
- Snow pears are relatively affordable at $3-5 HKD / pear
How do I prepare it?
- Wash the snow pears in warm running water
- Halve the snow pear and core
- Use halves for soups as the pears sometimes disintegrate if they are too small
- I will also remove all the seeds and stems from the pear
- I also keep the skin on, although this part sometimes tends to be slightly sour, but it helps keep the pear together in the soup or dessert and prevents it from melting into the hot water
What are the benefits?
Pears have 0 fat and provide a healthy intake of natural sugars
- Pears are excellent laxatives due to their high fiber content
- They are said to assist with the lower of cholesterol and high blood pressure
- Pears also are the least allergenic of all fruits and is often found as a first foods for babies
- They contain excellent amounts of copper and potassium and are packed with carbohydrates
- Pears are also packed with Vitamin A, C and E1
What are the precautions?
- Pears, especially Snow Pears, are known to be a “cooling” food
- Women who are pregnant or menstruating should take caution when consuming Snow Pears
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