Sunday, January 15, 2012

Compote de Poires.

Was very pleased to see the little seckel pears at market again with the new year.

The last of last week's batch before hitting la casserole.

Every year at about this time, these little beauties are packed into plastic bags and sold at ridiculous prices*.  Last week, they were going for two kg for four euro (that's roughly a dollar a pound).  I bought four kg with the intention of turning 1/2 of that into a gingery pear butter.  That never happened, as we found we loved the 'compote' or sauce as is (no sugar, no nothing added).  Was great as a side with ham, over our yogurt, snuck out of the bowl in the fridge by the spoonful.

This week, I saw that they were down to three euro for five kg.  Bought a huge bag of pears along with some tiny, toothsome sweet/tart apples with the intention of freezing a bit of the compote for later use.**  On one hand, would really like to make more fruit butter.  On the other, the fruit's already so sweet and full of flavor that the addition of sugar/spices seems a bit like gilding the lily.  


* I asked the Frenchie if the cheap prices and the sale au marche had anything to do with these fruits not conforming to EU standards on size/shape.  He said that those regulations were retired a while back, but it wouldn't surprise him that people are now conditioned to not want "imperfect" or "normalized" fruits, thus forcing the vendors to sell so low.

** Wouldn't a granita or nectar be lovely on a triple-digit hot Summer day?  A girl can dream.


jo said...

Thought you might have missed hearing about this from over they-ya. Appropriate.

Be said...

The bakery I worked for as a kid gave the day old stuff away to the local soup kitchen. We made good bread; I was pleased to see them doing that.

There's a lot of food that goes to waste because it costs more to harvest and sell it than to just leave it; remember hearing about a nfp in Northern California that was allowed to glean from fields and donate the harvest at soup kitchens/shelters. They're fairly small because it's apparently hard to find qualified ag workers willing to volunteer their time.


That said, yes, a lot is wasted here, too. I'm amazed, too, at how overpackaged a lot of things seem compared to ovah theyah, too. Especially on stuff labelled "organic." (Don't even get me started on pesticide use...)