Not a winter wooly….


Today is the day when winter, dragging it’s damp and weary feet, limps off the stage for another year. As with trains, the beginning and ending of seasons are subject to a clear timetable, yet they arrive when least expected and often in an unrecognisable and unwelcome form . When I look out of my window tomorrow there will no visible change of season; there will be no clear sign that winter has passed and spring has arrived save for the early buds and blossom. For my part, the first clear sign that spring has arrived is when I start to wish for summer which unrequited longing will be initiated by two or three consecutive days of sun and blue sky.

Unlike the perfidious seasons, the pear in the pictures does not disappoint. The impressively named Passe-Crassane is most certainly not a winter wooly. A good looking pear can so often belie one’s expectations, with its outward signs of inward grace, only to betray that confidence with the first mouthful of wooly, tasteless mush. Never was a fruit more suitable as a metaphor for failure…..”it’s all gone pear shaped”.


The Passe-Crassane, which has only a small window of availability between December and the end of January, may look to be a dandy with its glossy red wax topknot but do not be deceived by this apparent affectation. This is a pear that is : “Fruit assez gros ou gros, rond, aplati, jaune herbacé, finement moucheté et pointillé de roux, chair assez fine, fondante, juteuse, relevée d’un goût acidulé exquis” and you can’t say fairer than that, guvn’r.

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.
This entry was posted in 2014, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Fruit, Pears, Photography, photography course, Seasons, Uncategorized, Weather, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Not a winter wooly….

  1. So I had to translate: ”Fruit assez gros ou gros, rond, aplati, jaune herbacé, finement moucheté et pointillé de roux, chair assez fine, fondante, juteuse, relevée d’un goût acidulé exquis”, and I understood. And then, I ‘understood’. I love a beautiful pear in winter too..

  2. margaret21 says:

    I’ve gone off pears in recent years for all the reasons you outline. Though I make an exception for pears in red wine and pear, almond and chocolate cake. But I may have to think again. How much is that Passe-Crassane paying you for this endorsement 😉 ?

  3. I’ve never really thought about that expression which I use with such abandon at times of minor crisis – It’s all gone pear shaped…nothing quite as disappointing as a beautiful looking pear gone wooly. Daffodils are up and some blossom is blooming – I am quite hopeful that the weather will turn the corner quite soon.

  4. Are you eating these now Roger, because I am not seeing them in the markets? Or is this a photo from January? And yes, when you can get them, the Passe-Crassane is wonderful. It is like the Poulet de Bresse of pears.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    Pear shaped – that’s a good description for this winter’s weather 😉

  6. I love the glossy red wax topknot. Your first photograph is gorgeous.

  7. Oh I do hope winter is departing – it’s definitely dragging its feet over here! These pears are so gorgeous.

  8. deepali says:

    love the first photograph

  9. Amanda says:

    Beautiful pear, beautiful post.

  10. Love a good pear but I find them hard to come by. And I’m ready for winter to transistion into spring but we’ve another storm on the way!

  11. Mary Frances says:

    I love the name Passe-Crassane. It’s so fun to say!

  12. An intriguing pear … thank you for the introduction!

  13. Great shots–love that touch of red.

  14. Sally says:

    Love the way the knife hovers in the first pic and that wax topknot….how exquisitely beautiful…and how very French. Good pears are such a rarity but an absolute delight when you find one. I’ve never tasted a Passe-Crassane but you make me want to brave that awful weather to go and seek one out. In praise of simple, excellent produce and ingredients…

  15. The red dot on the pear looks really cool, it adds something to your great pic. I love pears in so many ways as well their shape so feminine, if they are the juicy ones they go so well with blackberries and soft French or Italian cheese and a glass of fruity white!

  16. I’ve never been a big fan of pears, mostly because they are so often wooly! I did, however, make a pear and blackberry jam one year, at a suggestion from a friend, which turned out to be quite delicious.

  17. A delicacy indeed. Especially the way you write it, Roger.

  18. catterel says:

    Lovely name – made me wonder, who christens all these varieties of fruit, and what’s the procedure for getting the names internationally accepted? I was very disappointed to discover that Granny Smith apples were not named for MY Granny.

  19. Fig & Quince says:

    I do love the dandy red wax … tres mignon

  20. The pears here are all so firm they’re practically frozen.. like me:(
    O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?

  21. thomas peck says:

    A wax topknot – how delightful!

  22. What a “smart looking” pear! Complete with a tiny top hat of red….how very elegant. Beautiful photo and musing as always.

  23. ChgoJohn says:

    Having received more snow on Saturday night, with more expected Wednesday night, I’m beginning to think that Spring will never get here. And we haven’t any Passe-Crassane pears to enjoy. Thank the gods for booze. 😉

    • I remember serving mass as a boy and hopefully waiting for the priest to raise his fingers to say that there was enough wine in the chalice. Those Jesuit fingers never moved until the wine was level with the brim. I think the priest was thanking God for the booze:)

  24. Karen says:

    Lovely photos as always. Am I noticing correctly that the plate and knife are some of your newly acquired little treasures?

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