The ancient Greeks really appreciated the pear as a fruit. Homer said: “It is a gift of the Gods”. The modern Greeks really appreciate ouzo. So today’s recipe of pears with chocolate and ouzo, can’t be anything but purely divine!
Traditions with pears
Not only the Greeks have a tradition with pears, the French do as well. In France the tradition says that the noblemen that were invited to a coronation ceremony at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims brought a pear and a glass of champagne as a gift. The same gifts were given by the mayor of Reims to Charles X in 1825 after his coronation, saying: “We offer you the best: Our wines, our pears and our hearts.”
A partridge in a pear tree
Did you know that since the 18th century the pear tree along with a partridge, has been a symbol in Christmas carols as in the song the twelve days of Christmas? It is actually this world famous Christmas song that gave me inspiration for the recipe of today. Here is the first part of the song:
On the first day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
A Partridge in a Pear Tree
On the second day of Christmas
My true love sent to me Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree
The healing powers of pears
The explanations given on the mentioning of a pear tree with a partridge are many. Study leader Manny Noakes from the Australian research institute supports the hypothesis that pears are one of the best remedies for the bad symptoms of a hangover. Specifically, it was discovered that eating pears helps with concentration, reduces memory loss and individual sensitivity towards light and sound (of nightclubs), while at the same time having the ability to reduce the amount of alcohol in the blood.
The researchers speculate that these miraculous properties of pears are associated with the activation of key enzymes that are involved in alcohol metabolism. Dr. Noakes clarified: “The effect can only be demonstrated when the pears are consumed before drinking alcohol. There was not the slightest indication that eating pears after drinking alcohol, the same effect of relieving intoxication symptoms did appear.” Nothing was said about any effect when you are eating pears together with drinking alcohol, so shall we test?!?
Making pears with chocolate and ouzo
With pears right now in their best season (at least in Greece), let’s make this easy and aromatic dessert!! Get some of these miraculous pears, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, sugar, cow butter, dark chocolate and of course…. ouzo!
Clean the pears but leave on their stalks.
Place them in a pan and add the ingredients. Boil over medium heat for about 20 / 30 minutes. Remove them carefully from the syrup and lay out on the plates.
Chop the chocolate and melt it in a stainless bowl mounted on a pan with a little boiling water. Add 100 gram of the syrup to the chocolate. Mix well and add the butter, stirring the mix to melt once more.
Poor this chocolate sauce nicely over the pears on the plates and sprinkle some Christmas decorations around it if you like!!
Enjoy your pears with chocolate and ouzo this Christmas!
And please let me know how the healing powers of the pear have worked out for you!