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Market Watch: Pear Season's Winding Down, Get Them While You Can

Pears

Pear season is beginning its seasonal wind down at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. While many varieties will be cold stored and still available through the winter months other more delicate varieties like the Warren pears at Frog Hollow Farm are only going to be at the market for a few more weeks.

Chef Yuko Kajino was at the Tuesday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this week to stock up on the Warrens which are one of his favorite fall treats. His Euro-Asian-influenced menu at Chaya is a celebration of the delicate techniques he honed at Tuji Culinary School in Tokyo and his desire to work with the best seasonal ingredients he can find. Yuko grew up just an hour north of Tokyo and first worked his way through Chaya’s kitchen in Japan before moving on to Chaya Beverly Hills. In 2010 he relocated to the Bay Area to take over the kitchen at the San Francisco Chaya, which is located across the street from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Yuko planned to use Frog Hollow Farm’s famous Warren pears in a pear salad with greens, creamy goat cheese, candied walnuts and spicy habanero vinaigrette. In the summer months he opts for Frog Hollow’s peaches for this seasonally adaptable dish, but in the fall it’s all about the Warren pear. “Frog Hollow has the best fruit, and their Warrens are always consistent in flavor and texture,” Yuko told me.

Chef Yuko Kajino of Chaya

Frog Hollow was one of the first farms in California to grow the Warren variety, which originated in Mississippi. They hand-pick the pears each fall and bring them to the Tuesday and Saturday markets. The Warren may look similar to a Bartlett, but it has a creamy and buttery-sweet texture, similar to the Comice. It is this texture and the Warren’s perfectly balanced sweetness that makes them a versatile and popular variety with many of the chefs who shop at the market.

Warren pears will only be available through the end of November, so get yours now at the Frog Hollow stand at the Tuesday and Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.