Kaluđerka Pear

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves - Serbia

Kaluđerka or Winter pear is an old pear variety that is very resistant to harsh weather conditions and diseases. The tree grows up to 2 meters tall and has a compact top and green colored bark. The fruit is oblong and up to 15 cm long. Winter pears are harvested around the end of October, after the first hard frost. Freshly harvested fruit has little taste, but the fruits are covered in newspaper or cloth and stored until the following January. At that point, the skin of the pears will be yellow in color, and the flesh will be soft, juicy and sweet. These pears are mainly used as a table fruit, but any leftover fruit conserved until spring are used in the production of homemade brandy. The Winter pear has been grown in the area of the village of Beška in northern central Serbia for centuries, though this fruit can today only be found in small, isolated orchards. There are no exact current production records referring to this variety separately from the other peas grown in the village. For the most part, these fruits are grown and used for home consumption, and not for commercial sales. Locally, the Winter pear is being replaced by other pear varieties, particularly those that can be used immediately after harvesting instead of after the long curing time needed for this variety.