The black pear remains under extreme pressure after being plucked from its branch; before it can be eaten, it must be pierced with a knife, then allowed to bleed for three days. While the teeth and bones must eventually be removed as well, this drains the majority of the fruit’s venom, allowing those brave enough to consume its pulp directly a chance at survival.

Its natural poison is much too potent and complex to be fully separated from the nectar in which it dwells. It can be broken down further through fermentation, making the resultant wine much more popular to consume than the pear itself. It becomes entirely nonlethal after several years of aging, yet those drunk on the finished product still experience elaborate fever dreams and vivid hallucinations.

This completes a curious ontological circuit. The black pear tree does not actually exist, and can only be perceived in the mind’s eye of those who are already drunk on black pear wine; however, the black pears themselves are very real. Through picking the elusive fruit, a transaction takes place between the mental and physical realms, allowing it to become tangible. This harvest is very dangerous, as the pear’s natural defenses are quite effective at dealing with those who are already intoxicated.

As a result of this strange life cycle, botanists and philosophers alike often ask which came first: the wine, or the fruit. While the answer to this is beyond human wisdom, the question itself points toward an interesting truth about the black pear tree: it bears no seeds of its own. The vintaging process is the only thing allowing it to reproduce at all.