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.