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Nine varieties are in the Ark of Taste:

pera cocomerina: little heirloom 'watermelon pear' from the Apennines near Cesena in Emilia-Romagna. As it ripens, the flesh turns very red inside. It's fragile and not easy to keep, so is often used in jam; in August it's celebrated at the Sagra della pera cocomerina at the Comunità Montana dell’Appennino Cesenate ed il Comune di Verghereto.

pera madernassa: Piedmontese pear, often used in cognà.

pera martin dubi: red pear from Piedmont, used in cooking.

pera martin sec: pears from Piedmont and Aosta, often cooked in red wine for dessert.

pera martinone: small yellow and reddish pear from Piedmont, consumed fresh or in cooking.

pera scipiona: yellow green eating pear from Emilia-Romagna, believed to have been introduced centuries ago from England.

pera spadona: light green late summer eating pear grown in Emilia-Romagna.

pera volpina: greenish cooking pear from Emilia- Romagna that can be kept for a long time in the fridge.

pero misso della Lessinia: grown in the hills north of Verona, a rare pear consumed in November when it's overripe and the skin has turned brown (misso in dialect); it's used to make desserts, jams, pear cider and spirits.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Monica Arellano-Ongpin