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With the goal of providing "geek-level" knowledge of fresh pear usage and handling to foodservice operators and distributors, the Portland, OR-based Pear Bureau Northwest has developed a mini seminar, How to Become a Pear Nerd.

The seven- to 10-minute educational presentation will be conducted by the Pear Bureau Northwest at booth No. 79 at the Produce Marketing Association's foodservice expo Aug. 1 in Monterey, CA.

The entertaining presentation will help attendees learn about the many Northwest pear varieties, seasonality and their versatility on the menu, and it will also show the importance of proper ripening and handling of fresh pears, citing the findings of recent consumer sensory research. Held every hour on the hour from noon through 4 p.m., attendees will have several opportunities to participate in the brief seminar. To sweeten the deal, a prize drawing will be held after each presentation.

“This short presentation is designed to engage attendees in a fun and memorable way, and we’ll cover the key points that foodservice operators and distributors need to know about fresh pears,” Cristie Mather, director of communications at Pear Bureau Northwest, said in a July 21 press release. “We’re going to have fun with this, and we hope to inspire some 'a-ha’ moments in the process.”

Additional resources will be made available to attendees at the expo, including recipe card sets that feature recipes for all day parts, availability charts and educational materials that detail pear ripening procedures.

The Pear Bureau Northwest is a non-profit marketing organization established in 1931 to promote, advertise and develop markets for pears grown in the states of Washington and Oregon under the “USA Pear” logo. The bureau represents more than 1,600 growers and 55 packers who produce approximately 84 percent of the nation’s fresh pear crop, and it develops national and international markets for Northwest pear distribution.