HISTORICAL FACTS AND ANECDOTES
A temptress Pear…
According to Saint Augustine, one of the Fathers of the Catholic Church, it was a pear (rather than an apple) that tempted Adam and brought about the original sin. The Church later chose to use the apple in its traditional iconography as the fruit offered to Eve by the serpent.
Saint Augustine himself must have had a certain weakness for pears as, in his Confessions, he tells the story of how, at 16 years old, he and a group of friends stole pears from a neighbour’s orchard.
A sacred pear
In Ancient Greece, the pear was a sacred fruit for the Pythagoreans, who believed that it encapsulated the true mystery of the cosmos.
Pears of the Empire
According to the writings of Pliny the Elder (in his Natural History), over 40 different species of pears were known and eaten at that time, many of which came from regions all over the Roman Empire and were named after those who discovered them (Dolabelliana, Pomponiana), or after their fragrances (Myrapya, Laurea), or their shape (Amphora). Pears were eaten both cooked and uncooked. They were conserved and sun-dried, and often cooked in wine.