Under slightly different circumstances, could America have become a pear nation instead of an apple nation? Baseball, hot dogs and pear pie?
It could have happened that way, sure. Or well, no, probably not. Pear trees do behave in much the same way that apple trees do. Like apples they’re hardy and adaptable to a variety of climates. Yet the best eating pears can be fussy, which made a difference in the pear’s popularity as a fruit crop on the American frontier. But then as all those who were with me during my recent apple posts know, most apples on the American frontier weren’t eaten, they were drunk (no pun intended), and as a juice crop the pear was also at a disadvantage. For while pear squeezings can be made into a hard cider, “perry” as it’s called in England, the process is more involved than it is for apples. Thus the apple was the shortest distance between two points (those two points being sobriety and inebriation). I suppose, had Americans really had a taste for perry, you might have had the huge cider mills that produced the gigantic amounts of waste pulp and seeds that a Johnny Pear Seed might have used to start a fruit and real estate empire. I donno though, sounds a little too much like one of those freaky alternative history episodes on Star Trek.