Alligator Pear

Alligator Pear -

A tropical fruit, native to Mexico and northern South America but now widely grown also in the West Indies and in Florida and other Southern States.

The tree is a fine spreading evergreen with large leaves of oval shape and bright green color, a free producer under good circumstances. The fruit, big and heavy, weighing up to four pounds, consists of a single large rugged seed wrapped in a membranous cover, inside a firm, buttery flesh of bright greenish-yellow color, containing from ten to twenty percent of greenish oil. The outer skin is tough and leathery, varying in color, some being bright green, others yellow, brownish green, dark purple or red, etc. The most common shapes are the oval, pear-shaped and round or bell. The large green fruits are considered the best.

Alligator Pears are now obtainable nearly all the year round - the first supplies from Colombo and other parts of South America reach the Eastern markets in January or thereabouts, the Cuban fruits following in April and continuing through the summer to October, those from Jamaica continuing to November and from Trinidad and Granada to January. The Florida supply is heaviest during the months of July and August.

Alligator Pears have advanced considerably in favor during recent years. They deserve still greater popularity, as the large percentage of easily digested vegetable oil or fat makes their flesh exceptionally nutritious.

The fruit is served in halves or sections, as cantaloupes, to be eaten with salt, and pepper and vinegar if desired, or with a little lime or lemon juice and sugar - or the flesh is cut in slices or cubes, similarly dressed or served with French salad dressing. If the flesh is cut into little grooves with a sharp knife, the dressing will be more easily absorbed.

The flesh of the ripe alligator pear is of about the consistence of well-made butter. The fruit is just right when the flesh will yield gently to a slight pressure of the fingers. The skin is then easily peeled off the pulp.

Arround Alligator Pear in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

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