In Season Now: Perfectly Pickled Pears

Top Chef Fan Favorite Sam Talbot Shares his Favorite Way to Enjoy Pears

Oct 14, 2010, 08:00 ET from Pear Bureau Northwest

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ --With the fall pear harvest underway, an abundance of Pacific Northwest pears, marketed under the USA Pears brand, are now arriving en masse to grocery aisles nationwide. And while enjoying a fresh pear out-of-hand never goes out of style, there's one delicious new trend pear fans are discovering this season: pickling.



"The countless ways to prepare pears are as diverse and unique as the pear varieties themselves," says Cristie Mather, director of communications, Pear Bureau Northwest. "We continually hear about new recipes and preparations from chefs and home cooks around the country involving poaching, grilling, baking, sauteing and so on. However, this season's buzz is all about pickling."

One such chef who favors pickling pears is Top Chef fan favorite Sam Talbot, executive chef of the Surf Lodge and the soon-to-open Imperial 9 at Mondrian New York.

"Pickling pears gives them a surprising new taste and texture," says Talbot, "It allows you to toy with the pear's natural sweetness while infusing other flavors like citrus, pepper and cinnamon – whatever you'd like."

Talbot, also known for his love of sustainable seafood, has shared a recipe pairing pickled pears and seafood: Sauteed Shrimp on Brioche with Pickled Pears and Gem Lettuce. Click to watch a video of Chef Talbot making his recipe, or download the full recipe here.

Talbot says pickling pears is easy. "There is a range of different pickling recipes and methods," he points out, "but the key is finding the right balance of vinegar and spices, so you accentuate the pear's sweetness without overwhelming it." His method involves simply combining vinegar, water, sugar, citrus and spices like peppercorns and cinnamon; bring the mixture to a boil and briefly simmer; chill completely; and finally, pour over sliced pears and refrigerate for 6 hours.

About Pear Bureau Northwest and USA Pears

Pear Bureau Northwest is the non-profit marketing organization established in 1931 to promote the fresh USA Pears grown in Washington and Oregon. Together, these two states represent 1,600 growers and 84 percent of the nation's fresh pear production. For fresh pear recipes, nutrition facts and short films featuring Washington and Oregon pear growers, visit and

SOURCE Pear Bureau Northwest