EnlargeCredit: Cooking for Engineers
Pears are pomes (fruits with distinct cores of seeds from the Rose family) which have been cultivated for thousands of years. Although they are cousins of the apple, pears are much more delicate. Once ripe, pears should be consumed within days even with the aid of refrigeration. Pear varieties can be classified many ways (creamy/sandy, raw/cooking), but I choose to classify them into two distinct categories: European or buttery varieties and Asian varieties.