Pears were first cultivated more than 4,000 years ago. Nowadays they are grown in the temperate regions, all over the world. There are thousands of pear cultivars (cultivated varieties).

Both pear and apples belong to the rose family, Rosaceae and are both Pome fruits. The pear skin is a good source of dietary fibre but pears have a much shorter shelf life than apples. Pear trees can live up to 75 (-100) years.


The main producers are China, USA, Argentina, Italy and Turkey. In the USA, 95% of the pear grown, is in California, Oregon and Washington states. Continue reading


Prunus persica (L.) Batsch Nectarine

Peach and nectarine are the same species that are commercially sold as different fruits.They are nearly alike in size, texture and colour, but peaches have a characteristic fuzzy skin and nectarines have a shiny and smooth skin.The fuzz on peaches is due to the presence of hairs botanically known as trichomes. Since consumers do not like the fuzz, commercially grown peaches are mechanically brushed after harvest to remove the fuzz. You can find real fuzzy peaches at the farmers markets and roadside stands.

Several genetic studies have concluded that nectarines are produced from a recessive gene and the fuzzy peach from a dominant gene (allele). Nectarines have also, arisen, many times from peach trees, often as bud sports. Nectarine and peach trees are virtually indistinguishable. Continue reading

McIntosh Apple

Malus domesticaMcIntosh Apples myfavouritepastime.com_6041

  • There are over 7,500 cultivars of apples and about 100 are commercially grown.
  • McIntosh has a thick green and red skin, which is tender and easy to peel.
  • McIntosh apples bruise more easily than other apples and should be handled with care.They are  small to medium sized and round in shape.
  • The flesh is white, juicy, sometimes tinged with green and pink soon becoming soft.
  • It’s very juicy and slightly tart in flavour.
  • It’s a parent variety of many other apples like Cortland, Empire and Spartan.
  • John McIntosh discovered the original McIntosh sapling on his Dundela farm in Upper Canada in 1811. In 1870, it entered commercial production.
  • It’s cultivated in Canada, USA and Eastern Europe

Continue reading

Ambrosia Apple

Malus domestica

Ambrosia Apple

Ambrosia apple was discovered by Wilfred Mennel and his wife Sally as a chance seedling, amongst a row of Jonagold apples, in their orchard in Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, Canada.
The chance seedling flourished into a healthy apple tree, and in the early 1990’s, it bore its first fruit. The fruits were so attractive and delicious, so Wilfred Mennel named the apple, Ambrosia, which in Greek mythology means “food of the gods.
The Mennell family, decided to produce more of the fruit and in 1993, with the help of the Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation (PICO), the Mennells registered the apple and took it to market. Today Ambrosia apples are grown by farmers in North America, Europe, Chile and New Zealand and are available in stores worldwide.

Ambrosia Apple Continue reading

Cavendish Banana

Musa acuminata Colla

Dole Bananas, Honduras,
This is a Cavendish cultivar called ‘Grand Nain’. It’s the most common commercial cultivar. These bananas are grown by Dole.

There are over 1,000 varieties of bananas but only about 500 are edible and only about 20 varieties are grown commercially. Cavendish banana entered mass commercial production in 1903 but did not gain prominence until Panama disease attacked the dominant banana cultivar, Gros Michel (“Big Mike”) in the 1950s.

Cavendish bananas were named after William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire. They are a subgroup of the species Musa acuminata. This subgroup includes several common cultivars like  ‘Dwarf Cavendish’, ‘Extra Dwarf Cavendish’, ‘Grande Naine’ and  ‘Giant Cavendish’, just to mention a few.

‘Grand Nain’ banana (also spelled ‘Grande Naine’) is one of the most commonly, commercially cultivated cavendish cultivar. (see photo above).