“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.