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What makes pears gritty?

Schlereid cells in pears cause them to be grittyAs I wrote yesterday, I was raised on found fruit so I hardly notice things like spots and bruises and gritty pears.  Mark, on the other hand, was raised on Red Delicious --- he doesn't seem to mind insipid fruit as long as it looks and feels pretty.  I chopped up one of my stolen pears for lunch yesterday and he turned up his nose at the texture, which sent me to the internet, wondering about pear grit.

It turns out that the grit in pears is caused by stone cells (also known as sclereids) --- the same material that makes walnut shells and cherry pits hard.  All pears produce stone cells, but there are a few ways to get around them.  The pears you buy in the grocery store have been bred to produce far fewer schlereids, but even old fashioned pears are more edible if raised properly.  To reduce grit, pick your pears
before they are ripe, when stone cells are at a minimum.

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