As supermarket demands grow higher the traditional pear tree shrinks and becomes less diverse. The tall varieties of the past may now be found in old orchards and along forgotten lanes.
Perry making: harvesting, crushing the fruits in a stone mill, and squeezing out the juice in a giant press; the juice ferments in wooden barrels over winter.
Illustration courtesy Chelsea Green Publishing
Perry pear tree, at least 200 years old, which continues to crop heavily in Herefordshire.
Photo courtesy Chelsea Green Publishing
Featuring a directory of 500 varieties of both ancient and modern pears with tasting notes and descriptions for every one, "The Book of Pears" reveals the secrets of the pear as a status symbol, introduces readers to some of the most celebrated fruit growers in history, and explains how the pear came to be so important as an international commodity