This is an in-depth look at apples and pears to determine their similarities, differences and nutritional values showcasing their many varieties that are available at the market.
Apples and Pears are commonly found together in smoothies, classical paintings, and a standard fruit bowl. They have an exciting relationship, for they appear to be a ‘Pear,’ but they are from different parts of the world. Keep reading to find out!
They are both from the Rosaceae family with roots in the Asian region. Apples are specifically from the Middle Eastern part, while Pears are from the Tian Shan mountains in China. They both contain a similar amount of nutrients and possess various health benefits and cancer-fighting properties.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the relationship that Apple and Pears share. Keep reading as we compare Apples with Apples and Pears with Pears. The joke was there. It had to be taken.
Table of Contents
- The Core of its Existence
- The Bearer of Fruit
- Comparing Apples with Apples
- Not Just a Fruit Basket
- Packs A Healthy Lunch
- Never Just a Fruit
The Core of its Existence
Apples and Pears are both edible fruit produced by a fruit tree that shares an ancestor, the Rosaceae family, and research suggest that they are both from Asia. Over the decades, European colonialists introduced fruits to the North American region, and today, over half of their cultivars are now grown on their soil.
A Family Tree
Apple’s ancestor, Malus sieversii, originates from Central Asia and still exists today! Pears’ ancestry stretches from East Asia to Northern Africa and parts of the Old World in Western Europe.
Apples have been in the Middle Eastern region for over 4000 years, and Pears were discovered in the Tian Shan Mountains in China back in 5000 B.C.
The word ‘Apple’ is a derivative of the Old English spelling’ æppel,’ which referred to all fruits till the 17th of Century. For Pears, the word is from West Germanic times, with the name being influenced by an origin family member from Greece where they’ve been cultivating Pears for over 3 000 years.
The Bearer of Fruit
The trees that bear these fruits look similar too, they both have pretty white flowers that bear green fruit in August, and both have leaves that have a rounded shape. Something quite cute about these fruit trees is that the tree’s condition and qualities are somewhat similar to the form of the fruit it bears.
Leaf it for the Details
Apple trees have upward branches with hairy stems that create a rounded top reaching up to 15ft. tall. Pear trees create a more lengthened illusion and can get to 56ft. Most varieties are hairless and often have thorns.
Like the tree’s rounded top, the Apple fruit is crisp and round, while pears are slightly more lengthened and softer in texture. Unlike Apples with a relatively uniform shape across their cultivars, Pears from Europe appear very different from those from Asia.
European Pears are often characterized as the shape of a teardrop and have relatively smooth skin. On the other hand, Asian Pears are rounder in shape and have a different texture to European Pears.
Comparing Apples with Apples
Apples and Pears have been convenient and nutrient-packed fruits for centuries, and as a result, they’re quite a few cultivars and varieties are available. Pears have around 3000 types worldwide, while there are more than 7 500 cultivars of Apples.
Not Just a Fruit Basket
Apples and Pears are a great match in heaven when they’re baked together for desserts or blended to a pulp for a powerfully healthy smoothie. They both can be canned and dried for long-term use. When fruit is dried, its texture adjusts a bit which gives an entirely new layer of flavor.
Wood You Believe it!
The wood of Apple and Pear trees is used in so many different ways. Some Pearwood is an impeccable source of high-quality material for woodwind instruments. Appletree wood is commonly used for smaller-sized objects like tool handles and mallet heads.
Packs A Healthy Lunch
Apples and Pears really do keep the doctor away with their high antioxidant percentage and low glycemic index. Having them present in your diet can reduce your chances of getting Type 2 Diabetes. As you can see in the graph below, they share a very similar nutritional value per average fruit.
Figure 1: A table comparing the nutritional value between Apples and Pears
As you can see, these fruits are super rich in fiber compared to the other significant nutrients found. The fiber found in these fruits can reduce the “bad cholesterol” that challenges some of us.
The different variants don’t change these statistics too much. For example, red and green Apples contain very similar nutrients, but green Apples have more fiber, and red Apples have more antioxidant properties.
An Apple A Day
Ever wonder why the saying “An Apple keeps the doctor away” exists? Well, it was initially from Whales in the early 1910s as “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” That’s because they possess some impressive qualities.
Incorporating Apples into your diet should be a priority for those at risk of heart disease. Apart from its low levels of cholesterol, it has anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties.
Grow A Pear
If you’re looking to incorporate more Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium into your diet, start with a lovely Pear. The fiber found in Pears helps prevent constipation by repairing and improving the condition of your gut.
Pears, like Apples, have cancer-fighting properties with their quercetin properties. Quercetin is found in a few other fruits, vegetables, and seeds and can significantly help reduce blood pressure.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Like everything in life, Apples and Pears should consume fruits in moderation. If you consume too many fruits, the fructose can cause bloating, and if you have irritable bowel disorders, it can lead to diarrhea.
Never Just a Fruit
Common Apples from Around the World
The Fuji Apple is a sweet red Apple commonly used in cooking due to its mild flavors. It’s a hybrid from Japan at the Tohoku Research Station that came onto the market in the 1960s.
Do you have some Fuji Apples in the fruit basket at home and want to try them out in a recipe? Try out this Fuji Apple Pie recipe.
Granny Smith Apple
The much-loved crispy green Granny Smith Apple is a cultivar from the land down under. The hybrid is due to a lady called Maria Ann Smith, who had taken a chance in 1868 to create a new cultivar between two Apple species.
For a recipe to make a Granny Smith Apple Pie, check this recipe out.
Pink Lady Apples
Pink Lady, like their fellow Granny Smith, comes from Australia. These sweet Apples that come with a high standard to be called Pink Lady have been a hybrid of Golden Delicious Apples and Lady Williams Apples since the 1970s.
Check this website out for many different recipes that use Pink Lady Apples in creative and delicious ways.
Other Common Apples
- Envy Apple
- Gala Apple
- Golden Delicious Apple
- Honeycrisp Apple
Typical Pears in Your Local Supermarket
Forelle Pears, also known as Trout Pears, is one of the smaller Pears on the list. They’re grown in South Africa and undergo a cooling period of 12 weeks before being put in the supermarkets to prevent the texture from changing and becoming unpleasant. When they’re picked, they’re greenish-yellow and are red when ripened.
If you want to try out a recipe with Forelle Pears, you won’t be disappointed with the Martha Stewart recipe.
Kaiser Pears, or Bosc Pears OR Emperor Alexander Pears, is a cultivar that dates back to France in the 19th Century. This Pear’s proud nickname can be understood when you see these big boys.
If you want to try out a recipe with Bosc Pears, try out this Pear Crumble recipe.
Williams’ Bon Chrétien Pear
Williams’ Bon Chrétien Pears, or simply Williams’ Pear or Bartlett’s Pear, was discovered by a school principal in England in 1765. Still, it was introduced to the rest of the country by a nurseryman called Williams. They come in red or yellow with a soft, juicy texture. Bartlett’s are much loved and are a significant part of the United States Pear production.
If you see some at the supermarket, here’s a delicious poached Bartlett’s Pear with Lavender recipe to try out.
More Pears in the World
- Almond-leaved Pear
- Asian Pear
- Christmas Pear
- Taylor’s Golden Pear
It seems these fruits pair better – pun-intended – in the kitchen than they are similar genetically. They are both members of the Rosaceae family, but Apples have their roots dating back to the Middle Eastern Region, while Pears are from the Central Asia region.
While each helps with certain diseases more, these two fruits both have cancer-fighting qualities and can help reduce Type 2 Diabetes. There are thousands of cultivars of each to select from that have unique colors, tastes, and textures.
Pink Lady: Recipes
BBC Good Food: Lavender poached pear with Poire Williams pudding
Betty Crocker: Dried Pear Hazelnut Loaf
Betty Crocker: Apple Crisp with Oats
Cooking Channel: Gooey-Good Fuji Apple Pie
Everyday Health: 8 Best Fruits for a Diabetes-Friendly Diet
Foodstruct: Pears vs. Apples
Flick on Food: Kaiser Pear
Gardening Knowhow: Rootstock Information – Why Do We Use Rootstock For Trees
Healthy Performance: ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’, but what does it really mean?
Jessica Gavin: Types of Apples
Martha Stewart: Forelle Pears Parchment
US National Library of Medicine: Association Between Apple Consumption and Physician Visits
Pink Lady Apples: History
Reluctant Entertainer: Pear Crumble
Sage Fruit Organics: Our Fruit
Specialty Produce: Williams Pears
USA Pears: Bartlett
Versus: Apples vs. Pears