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Pear harvest season in Taiwan ranges from May to August and summer is prime time to pick and enjoy the crispy, juicy fruit that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is known as the cream of fruits.
At first, the Heng-shan pear, which is rough in texture and is grown at low altitudes, was the only variety in Taiwan. But a sweeter, juicier variety grown at high altitudes was later introduced. The high-altitude variety in Taiwan is a graft of fruit from temperate countries and the Heng-shan pear. The result is a tasty, juicy temperate pear that was produced by farmers after experiments over a long time. People now can savor the sweet juicy pears in summer, as a result of the expertise of Taiwan farmers.
The major production areas of grafted pears in Taiwan include Maioli County's Jhuolan, Dahu and Sanwan; Taichung County's Heping, Dongshih, Shinshou and Howli; Chiayi County's Jhuci and Yilan County's Sanshing. The Housi and Shinko are the main two varieties of grafted pears. The harvest season of the former is from mid-June to mid-July and of the latter from early July to early August. Pears are one of the best summer treats. They are tasty and have high nutritional value because of their content of protein, malic acid, citric acid, and fructose. They are also an excellent source of vitamin A, B1, B2 and C.
How to pick pears?
Choose high quality pears that are smooth, undamaged, have good color, and no sunburn injury. Pears that are firm and weigh between 300 and 500 grams a re highly recommended.