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The origin
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Poire à Botzi AOP

Geographical Region

The zone includes the canton of Freiburg up to an altitude of 900 meters. Part of it are the Bernese enclaves Clavaleyres and Münchenwiler, as well as the districts of Avenches and Payerne and the municipalities Yvonand and Dompierre.

Production

La Poire à Botzi AOP (The Botzi pear PDO) originates from a local, unique pear variety, the „Büschelibirne“ (Poire à botzi). The variety is rather difficult to cultivate, as it grows very erect and its fructification is delicate and slow. The traditional Know-how of the fruit farmers is therefore of great importance. One team selects the branches which serve the reproduction. The type of culivation and the form of the trees can be freely chosen; they are in all cases, however, subject to the rules of the integrated, or bio cultivation. Harvest takes place between the beginning of August until the middle of September. The colour of the Botzi pear PDO varies from green to brown-red, with red „cheeks“. The fruit scent is harmonic with a note of green apples or freshly cut grass, fermentating or ripe fruit, combined with notes of spirits and caramel. Its taste is rather sweet with little acid and a light bitterness. As the Botzi pear PDO cannot be preserved for a long time, it is necessary to bottle it with sugar water.

History

The Botzi pear PDO probably originates from Italy and was introduced by mercenary soldiers at the Papal Guard over 300 years ago. The name Poire à Botzi/Botzi pear originates from the patois spoken in French-speaking Freiburg and means cluster, or in grapes, as the pears grow in clusters. The Botzi pear PDO is served with the traditional, sumptuous Chilbi menue, which is served every year after the descent from the Alps. The pears are bottled with caramelised sugar and accompany the lamb gigot or ragout. The Botzi pear was menaced by disappearance together with the tradition of the original orchards. However, it could be preserved thanks to several initiatives.