Pears have an interesting name. It sounds exactly like the word “pair,” but that doesn’t quite fit the fruit. It doesn’t always grow in groups of two.
Because of this, it’s not immediately clear to the average person why pears are called pears. There is indeed a reason behind its name, though, and we’ll be looking at that reason in this article.
We’ll give you some more information on pears, as well, including their history and what you can use them for.
Quick Answer: Why are Pears Called Pears?
The word “pear” has layers within layers of history. Experts think it comes from the Germanic word “pera.”
But pera has long roots of its own. It came from a Latin word “pira.”
Go even further back, though, and you’ll find the word has a possibly Semitic beginning. It may have come from the word “pira,” which means fruit.
Basically, then, you can infer that pear means fruit. The name just refers to the type of food that a pear is.
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A Brief History of Pears
Pears have been around for literally thousands of years. There are indications that pears have been around since prehistoric eras, with parts of it being found in ancient pile dwellings.
In China, it’s thought that pears have been commonly grown for as long as four thousand years.
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Moving to more “recent” history, pears were popular in ancient Roman times. They even appear in an old Roman cookbook called Apicius.
This is not the only instance of pears being featured in famous works, though. Many high school students around the world study Homer’s famous epic, The Odyssey, without realizing that pears are mentioned in it.
In fact, in the poem, pears were grown in the Phaeacian King’s own personal garden.
The bottom line is, pears have been cultivated and eaten for much of our history. They’re an important fruit in numerous cultures around the world.
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Let’s move back to the present and talk about uses for pears. Most people only think of eating them raw, but pears are actually a diverse fruit.
Many people will can them, or turn them into a sweet, refreshing juice. Others will make pear jams and jellies.
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Even the wood from pear trees has its uses. It often gets used to make woodwind instruments or for woodcuts.
You’re not likely to have pear wood to make things out of, though, so we’ve found you a recipe to try instead.
If you’re craving something sweet, give the below pear upside down cake a try. We think it looks fun, beautiful, and of course, delicious.
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Pear has a long and cultured history. People from all around the world have been enjoying this sweet fruit for millennia.
We think its long reputation is well-deserved, too. This is one tasty fruit that deserves a place in your next recipe.
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Curious how certain fruits and vegetables got their names? Check out this related article: Why are Limes Called Lemons in Mexico?