Recently the New York Times, the icon of American newsprint, ran an inflammatory article. The Times has been criticized countless times throughout it's existence, but this is inexcusable.
In what had to be a response to our soliloquy about the glories of a wondrous peach, a piece of prose that still rings truer than ever, a newsworthy, if not newsprint-worthy elegy to a fruit, that when achieving perfect ripeness, is unmatched in terms of quality and taste, the New York Times sponsored Proof blog had this title to it's February 27 entry:
"A Perfect Pear"
Now, before you start with the pitchforks and torches, it should be brought to our readers' attention that the blog, and the post as well, relates to and celebrates alcoholic beverages. Still...
Pears are shit.
Seriously, pears are the most worthless fruit that exists. Those weird starfruit things they have at Whole Foods are more appealing than a piece of shit Bartlett pear. My God, those things are crap.
First of all, they are never ripe. We're pretty convinced that they actually don't ripen at all. And if it weren't for some cockamamy scheme by some organization like the Pear Growers of America (we made that name up, but we're sure something like that exists) the pear, and all it's ignomity would have been extinct years ago. That's right: it would have been Darwin-ed out of existence they're so shitty.
Anyway, like we said, they're never ripe. We've never eaten a ripe pear. They don't exist. Unlike the Glorious Peach, which admittedly is difficult to find that perfectly sublime peak peach experience, the pear just starts unripe and stays that way. In no way does the chemical composition of the pear allow itself to move beyond what it is in it's nascent state: a bland, colorless, odorless, piece of unchewable fruit flesh.
We use the term "fruit" loosely. Man are they shitty.
At no time in human existence has anyone uttered the words, "Man, that was a fantastic pear. I'll have seven more!" However, if one were to replace the word "pear" with "peach," we assure, that exact verbage has been mentioned as much as Shakespeare is quoted by thespians. More often, in fact, has been uttered the phrase: "God this pear sucks ass. I'll try another one.... Jeez that one sucks too." Well we have news for you, our wayward friend: they all suck. Pears suck. Huge.
Have you ever had "pear pie," of course fucking not. Who wants to have "pear pie?" No one, that's who. It makes us gag a little just typing the imaginary culinary letdown. What about "pear cobbler?" "Pear ice cream?" Even "pear flavored candy?" Good Lord, no. You know why? Because the taste of a pear is almost as bad as it's consistency. The powers that be realize that the actual taste of pear is, well, it's virtually nonexistent. The difference between eating a pear and eating a raw potato is negligible. The only difference is that you can dress up a potato and make it taste good. There is no saving the pear.
In this "Perfect Pear" article, who's title is akin to the phrase "prettiest unicorn," this is the picture they use to display this supposedly wonderful and exciting alcohol producing fruit.
My God that looks disgusting. Get that bulbous piece of green shit off my screen this instant. If there were a way to code Firefox's "Ad Blocker" software to include blocking images of pears, we'd be all for it. That piece of whatever-it-is has no place in the culinary world.
This is why it's so perplexing the pear even exists. Occasionally one will purchase a bundle of pears at the store. This sad-sack will bring the pears home and take a bite. "Oh! It's not ripe yet!" they exclaim. A day, two days, three days pass. By now the remaining pears are developing a layer of brown crud that is slowly overtaking whatever shade of pea-green existed a priori. You know the story: off to the trash can or the compost heap. In fact, compost is about the only use we can think of for pears.
Sure, as the Proof blog suggests: you can make alcohol out of it. True, but why? Pear Schnapps? And, the purpose being exactly what now? We'll be the first to admit peach schnapps is an afront to all we hold dear. But that's the point: no one has to justify the existence of the peach. The peach is fully capable of standing on it's own. Darwin has accepted the peach and it lives on in our cobblers and in our hearts. But pears? They're like some sort of weird, in-bred dog breed that serve no purpose, have no genetic quality other than to be what they are.
So, therefore, we often find pears in canned form. It is as if the pear is saying, "you know what, I never ripen and I taste like shit, so drown me in a bunch of sugar water and feed me to children." Speaking of which, when given the choice, does a child (or adult, or anyone with taste buds for that matter) ever choose the pear over the peach? No, no, no. It never would happen in a million generations. When we take our children to the store, not once has the eldest one shouted, "let's get pears! We have to get pears!" And we concur. Pears are a worthless stain in our supermarkets.
My God, I wish (we're breaking character here, we know, but we're getting desperate) I had a good, perfectly ripe peach right now to quell the phantom pains my palette is having from describing this disgusting monstrosity that is the pear.
And what the fuck shape is a pear? That's right: pear-shaped. It has it's own shape, usually reserved to describe the silhouetted appearance of an out-of-shape 40+ year old male. That's exactly what I want to be thinking of right before I delve into a piece of fruit! The balding guy from The Office! Whenever something is "pear-shaped" it's no good. That includes pears.
And don't even try to tell me there is more that one breed of pear. Let's see.... there's the Bartlett pear and... umm.... yeah, that's it. Sure there are other genetic species of pear, but you know what? They all taste like pear. And by "pear," we also mean, "shit."
The only positive experience I've ever had vis-a-vis a pear is in 8th grade when we watched a nature film that included monkeys eating fermented fruit and then getting drunk and doing silly things. That's it. Perhaps that explains the continued presence of the pear on this fair earth: monkeys get drunk by eating it. But you know what, monkeys throw feces.
At this point, we'd normally apologize if we perchance ruined in any way whatever affinity our readers once had towards pears. However, in the case of the pear, we already know that there is no affinity for pears in any human. Ask anyone to rank their five favorite fruits and pear will invariably remain unspoken.
But it's not even that they suck shit. It's that they always suck shit. They're never any good at all, except at decomposing and looking ugly. As we are quick to point out: peaches certainly can taste like crap. However, that is the quest: to find that gem of a fruit. But pears all taste the same. In fact, the best way we can describe the taste of a pear is this:
The worst a peach can taste is the best a pear can taste.
Consider an extremely unripe peach. How does it taste? Kind of bland, tough perhaps. It's lacking in color and enthusiasm. That's exactly how a pear tastes even on their best days.
So, Proof blog, you continue to shop in Oregon for those Bartlett pears that you can't wait to process and refine until it's somehow passable in the form of alcohol. Me, I'll continue to eschew that particular aisle, that particular fruit, and instead turn my attention to a more rewarding, ravenous experience.