Spare the wax, spoil the pear…

pear_crassane_wax2_1002“Never judge a pear by its nail varnish” was a caveat drummed into me as a young pear fancier. Yet there I was, confronted by a tray of pedigree Passe Crassane, each one seductively stretching out a glossy red manicure for my delectation. There’s a first time for everything and I have to admit that I was confused. Rather than picking the fruit according to their state of maturation, colour or shape I found that I was making my selection with sole regard for the quality of their shiny, seductive adornment. And such it is throughout life. Another lesson learnt at the foot of the pear.

Truth, in my view, is rarely stranger than fiction as is proved by the mundane truth behind the Passe Crassane’s decoration. A gob of sealing wax is applied, by hand, to the stem of each of these pedigree pears with the sole intention of preventing the loss of moisture ( that was a close one) through the “pedoncle” of the fruit, which loss could lead to early maturation and a soft flabby pear, which is not the way of the Passe Crassane.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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36 Responses to Spare the wax, spoil the pear…

  1. Am loving this pear series! Great shot and now I realise that we get a very similar pear in Spain that gets the same treatment. Very expensive, very delicious!

  2. Tandy says:

    I learnt something new here today ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Tessa says:

    I’ve never seen pear varnish before. Here in Southern Oregon, we are surrounded by pear orchards and this is a new concept to me… It’s very eye catching and interesting!

  4. Mad Dog says:

    I’m sure they’ll be waxing pears in Brazil soon too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    I never would have guessed the reason behind the wax, had I come upon one of these pears. Now I just have to find a Passe Crassane so that I can show off this new-found knowledge. Another great photo, Roger.

  6. Have never seen such a thing. Now I want a Passe Crassane.

  7. If there’s one thing you don’t want, Roger, it’s a soft flabby pear.

  8. spree says:

    When I saw this photo, i assumed you’d been working some of your magic…I never dreamed there’d be others like her. Now that I know a pear can lose moisture from its stem (who knew?) it seems quite brilliant, but clearly a treatment reserved for special pears. A lovely image!

  9. Michelle says:

    That’s fascinating. Here in KY, the only thing we see red wax on is Maker’s Mark bourbon.

  10. Eha says:

    I think Mad Dog has said it all ๐Ÿ˜€ !

  11. do they make this wax for humans? I think you may be onto an anti-ageing solution here….! (as usual, excellent still life)

  12. We only seem to have the most common of pears here.. none that require this sort of red wax.. she must have been so juicy?

  13. That’s a great photo, but it also gave me a bit of a chuckle. Wax on pears. Whodathoughtit?

  14. Karen says:

    I thought this was something you did to create one of your seductive photos. Now I know it is done to keep them fresh. I still think the photo still has a special allure.

  15. I didinยดt now about wax on pear, I just learn something new, thanks.

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