Pears are quite good with bleu cheese. Of course, the unfortunate thing about buying pears is having to wait for them to ripen. So they’re not that good for point-of-purchase gratification. But try it, next time you’ve got a ripe pear on hand. Probably any strong cheese would do (any ripe cheese, that is).

Poirier means “pear tree” in French. It’s a pretty rare name in Los Angeles, where I grew up, but it’s fairly common in New Brunswick, Canada, where my father grew up. The first Poiriers arrived in Canada in 1607 or so, part of the large Acadian settlement.
They ran into some trouble in 1755, when the British tossed them out of their homes (see Evangeline, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).
In their subsequent wanderings, some of them ended up in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns (short for Acadians), and where they significantly improved their traditional cuisine (which is kind of Canadian).

Avocados are also known as alligator pears. I don’t know who came up with that nickname—I don’t even know anyone who uses it—but it was probably an early greengrocer/copywriter trying to get some reluctant Brits to overcome their fear of eating something good. I’ve eaten pears (see above) and I’ve eaten alligator, and you shouldn’t make guacamole with either. Perhaps the nickname had something to do with the avocado’s shape and the texture of its skin.

Of course, the Cajuns would have had experience with alligators, and no doubt still do.

If you’re not familiar with Howard Gossage, you should be. Write me if you’re curious. If you are familiar with Gossage—and you should be—write me. Let’s swap Gossage stories. I’ve got some good ones. Okay, just write me anyway. Click on Howard.

hometable of contentstelevisionradioprintsaturn printoutdoorcollateralrésuméabout pears • contact