Wild Pear Pekmez
Vegetables and vegetable preserves - Bulgaria
Wild pear pekmez is a type of syrup prepared with green, oval-shaped pears, about 3-4 centimeters long, collected from the wild. After harvest, the fruits are left to ripen for a short period. Then, the washed fruits are put into a deep pot filled with water. The mixture is boiled over an open fire until it thickens into the desired consistency. No sugar, sweeteners, or preservatives are added. The pekmez can be stored a very long time in clay pots without sterilization. There are a limited number of sweets in traditional Bulgarian cuisine. Sugar was a luxury product until the beginning of 20th century, and for this reason was rarely used. Pekmez is rich in fructose and produced from easily accessible raw materials. It is a homemade product from Kipilovo village in the municipality of Kotel in central Bulgaria, and it is occasionally offered in guesthouses. Today, the fields in which the wild pear trees grow are being overgrown by shrubs and other trees. Because these meadows are no longer commonly used for making hay, as they were in the past, it is increasingly difficult to keep track of, recognize, and access the wild pear trees. Because wild pears are considered medicinal fruit, they are often sold for these qualities, and are then not available for making treacle.