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The Sweetest Pear in Autumn

There is a pear in Dangshan, Anhui Province. It is firmly seated on the throne of the first of the three traditional Chinese famous pears, “looking down on all the pears”.

It is also said that its flesh is as white as jade, crisp and refreshing, full of juice, and as sweet as honey, which often gives people endless aftertaste.

The Sweetest Pears in Autumn
The Sweetest Pears in Autumn

Dangshan crisp pear is a white pear strain, which is a natural hybrid of white pear and sand pear.

It is a specialty of Dangshan County, Anhui Province, and matures in the first and middle of September. The fruit is nearly cylindrical, the peel is green and yellow, and gradually turns yellow after storage. The fruit spots are small and dense, scattered on the peel. The core is small, the flesh is white, and the taste is crisp and refreshing. It can be broken when you have a snap finger. It is crisp when you enter the mouth, and there is no residue when you fall to the ground.

Therefore, since ancient times, there has been a saying describing Dangshan crisp pears: “Dangshan pears are thin and can’t be found on the ground”.

Dangshan crisp pear usually weighs 250 grams per fruit, but the big one can weigh up to one kilogram! It is often dry in autumn. If you can chew such a big Dangshan pear, don’t mention how refreshing!

The Sweetest Pears in Autumn
The Sweetest Pears in Autumn

The main varieties of Dangshan crisp pears are Jingaisu, Baipisu, Qingpisu, and Fusu. Among them, Jingaisu has the best quality. The peel of the Jingasu pear is light golden yellow, and there are golden rust spots around the fruit stem, that is, the fruit dots, are radial, beautiful in color, sweet in taste, and good in quality. It is the best strain of crisp pear.

Hearing this, you may think that, alas, no matter how sweet it is, it is just a fruit! Of course not. Dangshan crisp pear also has high nutritional value and medicinal value.

Crispy pears are rich in nutrition and contain a variety of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. They are good for both raw and cooked food, and are suitable for all ages. No matter you wash it clean, or make it into pear soup, it tastes very good!

The medicinal value is even more amazing. Li Shizhen, a famous medical celebrity in ancient times, recorded in the Compendium of Materia Medica that “there are many pears, all of which are top quality, and can cure diseases.” He further pointed out that pears can “moisten the lungs and cool the heart, and relieve sores, poison, and intoxication.”

Therefore, the crisp pear is not only delicious, but also worth lifting your thumb.

The Sweetest Pears in Autumn
The Sweetest Pears in Autumn

Dangshan crisp pears, which were often praised thousands of years ago, are even more “beautiful” today.

In 1985, Dangshan crisp pear was awarded the title of national famous and special fruit at the national high-quality famous and special product appraisal meeting. In 1993, Dangshan crisp pear won the “Dragon Horse Gold Award” at Thailand International Expo.

In 2001, Dangshan County was approved as a provincial Dangshan Pear Germplasm Resources Nature Reserve, and in the same year, it was determined by the Ministry of Agriculture as one of the 100 pollution-free agricultural product (fruit) production demonstration bases in China. In 2002, Dangshan County was recognized as the “national pollution-free agricultural product (fruit) production demonstration base county standard unit”. It is also recognized by experts at home and abroad as “the best ecological area of world first-class crisp pear”.

The Sweetest Pears in Autumn
The Sweetest Pears in Autumn

In order to maintain the excellent biological characteristics of crisp pears and ensure the quality of Dangshan crisp pears, Dangshan County has established a germplasm resource archive of ancient pear trees, which has protected over 60000 Dangshan crisp pear trees that have been more than 100 years in China. The protection work is more comprehensive and careful. The age, tree name, family and genus, responsible management and protection unit, responsible person, contact number, and other contents of each ancient pear tree in the county are registered in detail, and ancient pear trees with special historical, cultural, scientific research value and commemorative significance are also attached with text descriptions.

The Sweetest Pears in Autumn
The Sweetest Pears in Autumn

In addition to protecting the original excellent variety characteristics, the cultivation team of Dangshan County also used the original crisp pear parents to cultivate excellent offspring strains, further enriching the excellent offspring varieties of Dangshan crisp pear to provide optional germplasm resources, adapting to the upgrading trend of market consumption demand. At present, six new varieties have been bred, including “Wanli No. 1”, “Wanli No. 2”, “Wanli No. 4” and “Dangshan Xisu”.

The Sweetest Pears in Autumn
The Sweetest Pears in Autumn

What’s more, in order to improve the standardized production level of Dangshan crisp pear, a geographical indication product, Dangshan County implemented the “digital orchard” innovation project in the area. The all-weather control and intelligent and digital management of pear orchards enable traceability of production records, product flow direction, and storage and transportation information. At present, 52 digital orchard application demonstration parks have been built in the county, and more than 30 Dangshan crisp pear geographical indication product standard enterprises have been put into operation on the national and provincial agricultural product quality and safety traceability platform.

In addition, Dangshan County has also built a “No.1 Pear Garden” integrating “intelligent management, standardized production, brand sales, and agricultural tourism”. Up to now, the county has built 15 national and 6 provincial Dangshan pear demonstration bases for large-scale planting, standardized production, commercialized processing, brand marketing, and industrialized operation.

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Nancy Huang
I'm a journalist in Shenzhen, China. I have been working in several news agencies in China since 2008.


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