March 15th is National Pears Hélène Day. This food holiday is about the delicious smooth French dessert combining warm poached pears, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Pears Hélène is a dessert made from pears poached in sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and crystallized violets. It was created around 1864 by Auguste Escoffier and named after the operetta La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach.
Over time, Pears Hélène simpler versions have been developed by substituting poached pears with canned pears and the delicate crystallized violets have been replaced with sliced almonds. These modifications have made it easier for more cooks to prepare this must-have dessert.
Fun Pear Facts
- There are more than 3,000 varieties of pears grown in the world.
- Washington, Oregon and Northern California grow more than 95% of the pears sold in the United States.
- California grows 60% of all Bartlett pears in the United States.
- Pears ripen best off of the tree.
- Pears are an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as copper, fiber and potassium.
- Pears are less allergenic than many other fruits.