On March 15th, National Pears Hélène Day celebrates a food holiday about the delicious, smooth French dessert combining warm poached pears, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate sauce.

Pears Hélène is a dessert made from pears poached in sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and crystallized violets. Around 1864, French Chef Auguste Escoffier created the dessert in honor of the operetta La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach. 

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Over time, Pears Hélène simpler versions have been developed by substituting poached pears with canned pears and the delicate crystallized violets have been replaced with sliced almonds. These modifications have made it easier for more cooks to prepare this must-have dessert. 


  • There are more than 3,000 varieties of pears grown in the world.
  • Washington, Oregon and Northern California grow more than 95% of the pears sold in the United States.
  • California grows 60% of all Bartlett pears in the United States.
  • Pears ripen best off of the tree.
  • They are an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as copper, fiber, and potassium.
  • Pears are less allergenic than many other fruits.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPearsHeleneDay

Prepare a recipe of Pears Hélène. Add it to an elegant evening or make it to simply enjoy and celebrate the day. We’ve provided a recipe for you to try as well. Share your recipes, too!

Pears Belle Helene recipe.

Use #NationalPearsHeleneDay to post on social media.

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