Add Pears to Your Tailgate or Watch-Party Spread

Tailgate and game watch party food are among my favorite meal categories. While I love indulging in some of the heartier game-day fare, I also like to balance things out and cleanse my palate with fresh produce. Juicy and naturally sweet USA Pears, which offer an excellent source of fiber (6 grams for a medium size), can play a crave-worthy role in any game-day menu.

A fresh, fruit salad is a staple dish I always enjoy on game day, whether it’s a get-together that I’m hosting or one where I’m attending as a guest. A fruit salad is also a crowd-pleaser, from toddlers to adults. (On a side note: The other day, my 4-year-old spotted the first pears of the season on our kitchen counter and literally squealed, “Ooh! Can I have one?” True story.)

While pears are in peak season during fall and winter, mix them into a salad with other fall fruits, like I did here in this Pear, Apple, and Grape Salad with Thyme and Walnuts. Or, if you’re a true pear connoisseur like me, use a few different pear varieties with a range of colors and textures and use just pears in your fall fruit salad!

I also add pears in my White Wine Sangria with Winter Fruits and in my mixed green salad made of spinach, arugula, pears, toasted almonds, and vinaigrette.

Happy tailgating!

Michelle Dudash, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu-certified chef, and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families. Join her on Instagram at @michelledudash for more delicious and healthy eating inspiration.

Want more fun pear-ific recipes to please a crowd? Check out our Recipes page!

Raise a Glass to the Pear!

With summer upon us, the pear trees in the Northwest are growing heavy with fruit to be harvested when the weather begins to turn cool again. I’m eagerly anticipating the new season’s crop—I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a brilliant red Starkrimson or a sweet, juicy Bartlett.

As we’re enjoying the last Green Anjou pears in the market, I thought it would be fun to bring you a few ways you can enjoy Oregon pears when they’re not in season. Hint: In liquid form.

Inventive vintners, distillers, and even soda makers across the Pacific Northwest have taken the unique, enticing flavor of the pear to create delicious beverages so you can enjoy pears year-round. Here are a few of my favorites:

Hoodsport Pear Wine
This wine, made from Washington pears, is light, crisp, and sweet. As the website suggests, it complements chicken, seafood, and white sauce pasta dishes. For a decadent yet light dessert, try poaching fresh pears in pear wine – it takes the flavor to a whole new level.

Clear Creek Distillery Pear Brandy
Clear Creek is world-renowned for this brandy. It is made from Bartlett pears grown in the Mid-Columbia region in Oregon. They also sell the brandy with the pear in the bottle—a truly impressive (and labor-intensive) feat.

Hot Lips Pear Soda
Comice pears give this pear soda a sweet, buttery flavor. Made from Oregon pears, Hot Lips soda is refreshing, light, and tasty. It makes an excellent float with a scoop or two of sorbet. Or add it to one of the above for a pear-fect cocktail!

Thirsty for more? Check out our cocktail guide and our pear beverage section for pear garnishes, recipes, and trade tips. Cheers!