Fruit stand, La Boqueria, Barcelona. Photo by Kelly S. Kurt
Larousse Gastronomique says of the pear variety Doyenne: “A variety of pear which melts in the mouth and is very sweet.” Not every pear merits its own entry in Larousse. The pears my wife’s dad recently delivered were likely Bartletts. He picked them from neighbor Joyce’s tree. Joyce is too busy exterminating armadillos to fuss with pears. And, then, these are old trees. Much of the fruit lies rotting on the ground—it is a veritable Antietam of pear death, this ground, covered in mushy, black pear corpses. But so much more clings to the limbs of the tree, which hunches from the weight of such bearing.