National Pears Helene Day

National Pear Helene Day is a holiday observed annually on March 15th and celebrates a dessert item that many people may not have even heard of. Pears Hélène is a delightful dessert made from poaching pears in sugar syrup and then serving them with chocolate syrup, ice cream, and crystallized violets.

It’s a dessert that was allegedly created by Auguste Escoffier—a French chef, culinary writer, and restaurateur who is known for popularizing and updating French cooking methods. It’s said that he invented this dessert in honor of “La Belle Helene,” an opéra bouffe that parodies the story of Helen’s elopement with Paris, which was the cause of the Trojan War.

Facts About Pears

We can’t talk about National Pear Helene Day without also including a section on pears. It just wouldn’t be right. So, we gathered together all of the fun facts about pears that we could find, picked out the best ones, and then included them below. Bon appétit!

  • Pears were first discovered in China, but are not only native to Asia but also to Europe and North Africa as well.
  • Pears are now grown all over the world.
  • Pears can be grown just about anywhere with a cool and temperate climate.
  • Pears can aid in digestion, and their high fiber content makes them suitable for dieting.
  • The pear became the official fruit of the U.S. state of Oregon in 2005.

Observing National Pear Helene Day

This holiday is best observed by whipping up a plate of Pears Hélène for yourself, for friends, and for family members. Don’t worry; making this dessert might seem intimidating, but it is actually not that hard to recreate—even if making the traditional recipe.

Modern versions of the recipe are even easier to make, as many people have substituted the sugar-poached pears with canned pears and have replaced the crystallized violets with sliced almonds. While making this dessert, don’t forget to use the hashtag #NationalPearHeleneDay on your social media accounts to spread the word about this French dessert and associated holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 15 Friday
Next year (2025)
March 15 Saturday
Last year (2023)
March 15 Wednesday
Food & Drinks