How to wash stickiness off of asian pears?

asianpear123August 18, 2013

hi, first time poster. we just picked our first harvest of asian pears in our new house (the tree is quite old). however the skin is very sticky. is this normal and what is the best way to clean it off? we have a ton of asian pears so any tips on how to clean a whole bunch in a short amount of time would be appreciated. they are tiny asian pears not sure what type they are.

i did notice that there are a bunch of tiny flies (gnats?) flying around some of them.

thank you!

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I buy lots of Asian pears from the Korean and Japanese stores near me, I don't remember having seen tiny ones of the many types they sell.

I have never seen sticky ones either.

I suspect you are having infestation of psylla insects, those tiny flies you see.

Honeydew, produced by psylla nymphs as they feed on the pears makes everything sticky.

Welcome to the Cooking Forum.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 7:47AM
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Welcome to the forum! I know nothing about Asian pears - but someone here will I am sure. Perhaps Lars will know.

Do let us know what you do with all of those pears.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 7:48AM
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My asian pears are not sticky. I have three varieties. All much smaller than the ones found in markets. Same crispy flavor. In the past we have just eaten fresh and give away much of the bounty. Storage life is just a couple months and did not freeze well. I may try dehydrating this year.

I suspect insects as dcarch mentioned. Maybe try posting on the garden fruit tree forum.
Next year you could spray organically well before harvest time with Neem oil. But i would check with the experts first and try to determine what insect might be causing this.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:54AM
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Thanks so much for the replies!

I ended up filling up my sink with cold water and two cups of vinegar then dumping the fruit in. Then I put two cups of cold water and two cups of vinegar in another container and used a washcloth to wipe down each of the apple pears in the water/vinegar mix. Then I put them in container with cold water to give them a final rinse. It seems to have helped get rid of the stickiness. Definitely labor intensive.

I am going to borrow a dehydrator and try making dried apple pears. Will report back how that goes!

I did post in the gardening section and got some advice on how to possibly get bigger fruit.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 3:51PM
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I tried Asian Pears for the first time this past Christmas. They are delicious. They are crispy like an apple but taste like a pear. Yummy. The ones I see in the store are about the size of a softball and rather expensive.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:18PM
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One of the comments on the gardening section thinks the problem may be caused by aphids.

The fact that you see tiny flies around indicates to me more likely it is infestation of psylla, as I have said above.

You should make sure what it is, because psylla, which has done lots of damage to pears, requires a specific method to control.

It is easy to tell which is which by viewing the insects with a magnifying glass, them identify by Google Image.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:59PM
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dedtired - so glad you like them! they are my favorite fruit! and yes they are expensive so i feel very lucky that we have a tree in our yard.

dcarch - i am going to try and take a picture of the insects so that i can figure out what is actually causing the stickiness. thanks so much for your help!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 1:47AM
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Just saw your pic on the other forum. 2" is very small. You need to cull them next year. Remove some of the fruit when small. You will get much bigger fruit. Mine are about the size of apples. (i should actually thin mine a bit more but it is a pain). My older tree is is about 15yrs now and too large to reach all of it without a ladder.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 12:32PM
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I have an Asian Pear tree that is bearing fruit for the second year and the fruit is much smaller than I anticipated. The flavor is delicious! I did not notice any stickiness on any of the ones I picked. These can be peeled and pickled the same as spiced pears if you like that sort of thing, or if you like preserves, slice them and cook as you would pears. I'll remove some of the fruit next year in hopes of having larger pears. Good luck with the "sticky problem"!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 3:09PM
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