Nashis were once considered a delicacy for the wealthy, but we are lucky enough to have an abundant supply in New Zealand each autumn. They are a delicate pear, native to East Asia. Nashi translates to pear in Japanese, where they are widely grown. Nashis have the texture of a crisp apple, just slightly less firm, and the sweetness of pear. They are beautifully juicy and refreshing, especially when served cold.
When cut nashis don’t brown as quickly as apple or other pears. Sweet, crisp nashis make a great addition to salads, especially with a zingy dressing for balance. Create simple but effective flavour pairings like roquette and smoked salmon, blue cheese and duck, or cress, pork and orange. For a side salad, pair with fig, walnuts and leafy greens.
When the weather starts to cool in autumn, hot desserts get right back on trend. Hollow out nashis, stuff with a syrupy filling, then bake whole. Serve hot with ice cream, custard or extra syrup. Play around with filling flavours; try pine nut and sultana or spiced date and walnut.
If you don’t want to stuff nashis, simply slice in half, core and bake. Roasted nashi halves can be served savoury alongside roast pork; drizzle with olive oil and season with flaky salt and pepper for a sweet/savoury balance.
Nashis make beautiful fresh pressed juice. Serve ice cold as is or whip up a Japanese inspired cocktail. Use nashis as you would apples in friands, muffins, loaves and cakes. They keep slightly firm when baked, which adds texture that you wouldn’t get with apple.
Deep gold in colour this medium sized fruit is one of the first to arrive on the market.
A greenish golden skin, medium sized, very sweet and juicy fruit.
Golden brown skin, crisp and juicy.
Yellow-green skin with sweet and juicy flesh.
Deep gold-bronze colour, medium to large fruit with firm, full flavoured and crisp, sweet flesh.
Grown commercially in New Zealand since the 80’s, nashis are in season from late January through to July.