The Noble Pear is a traditional variety which was historically cultivated in the areas of Parma, Reggio Emilia
and Piacenza (where it is known as the Lauro pear); the plants are found scattered in the fields, in family orchards or in some farms.
The historical origin of this variety is not fully known as there is no historical evidence which can ascertain its origin. However, there are bibliographic references dating back to 1700 which attest to the presence and importance of the Noble Pear in this area. Other references are from frescoes depicting fruits very similar to Noble Pears, such as those present in the rooms of the fortress of San Secondo and in the Castle of Torrechiara.
The Noble pear tree can reach impressive dimensions and live for a very long time: for example, there are trees that exceed 10 meters. The tree has an upright shape, and therefore has branches that tend to grow upwards, contributing to a good compactness of the foliage. Flowering takes place around mid-April in the plains while in the mountains it is slightly delayed and lasts about ten days. It is a very rustic plant that can be grown in almost all Emilian lands, even at around 1000 metres above sea level. In addition, it is a plant that tolerates both drought and stagnant water well.
The Noble pear is a fruit that has a conical shape and a yellow-green skin with some red-pink shades. The fruit weighs around 80 grams. It usually ripens between October and November and, thanks to its consistency, it can be preserved for nearly all of winter. A positive feature of this variety is that the fruits do not fall off the tree easily even when ripe: in fact, the pear is well attached to the branch.
The pulp of this pear is very compact and not very juicy, therefore making it suitable for cooking; it is only consumed fresh when it reaches full maturity. Traditionally, the Noble pear was baked in the oven or boiled in water with chestnuts. Furthermore, it has different uses in the traditional recipes of the local gastronomy: for example, in the mountain areas of Reggio Emilia they are cut it into small pieces and added it to the recipe of savurett (a pear compote obtained after a long cooking process). It is also used to make Colorno mustard and tortel dols.
The Noble Pear is a very important variety for the Parma, Reggio and Piacenza areas, but in recent years it has suffered quite a bit from the introduction of commercial and more profitable varieties. Therefore, it is a variety that must be protected, by enhancing the efforts of those who still own Noble pear trees and those who work their fruits according to tradition.
The research activities necessary for the reporting of this product in the Ark of Taste online catalogue were financed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, the General Directorate of the Tertiary Sector and Corporate Social Responsibility – notice n° 1/2018 “Slow Food in action: communities protagonists of change”, pursuant to Article 72 of the Tertiary Sector Code, referred to in Legislative Decree No. 117/2017.