About Pears.
They're delicious and there are many varieties that are in season all year round. Pears are one of the few fruits that do not mature well if allowed to ripen on the tree. As a result, they are picked before they are ripe. Then they are carefully packed, stored and shipped, usually still unripened. This is the reason you will often find firm, unripened pears when you buy them.

[Ginger Glazed Pears & Ham][Bartlett Graham Cracker Bars][Ginger Cake with Orange-Glazed Pears][Pear Shrimp Salad][Bartlett Brunch Compote][Pear Coconut Crisp]

The Bartlett is a bell-shaped pear most familiar as a summer pear, as they become available in July, but are readily available into early Winter. Bartletts turn from green to yellow as they ripen. This is due to chlorophyll disappearance during the ripening process. Many ripe Bartletts will show an attractive crimson blush on the yellow skin. The flesh is white, smooth, and juicy, with excellent flavor for fresh eating, desserts, and salads. Bartletts are prized as canning pears. They are called Williams in some parts of the world.

Good for eating: August thru December

Bartlett Graham Cracker Bars
Bartlett Brunch Compote

Red Bartlett
The Red Bartlett is the same in size, shape and eating qualities as the regular Bartlett. The skin can be entirely red, or have striated red color over green skin. The supply of Red Bartletts is somewhat limited, but their spectacular skin color makes them very popular for fresh eating and fruit bowl display. They are generally available from August through October.

Good for eating: August thru December

Bartlett Graham Cracker Bars
Bartlett Brunch Compote

The Anjou may be light green or yellow-green, and still be in any stage of maturity from hard to ripe and ready to eat. If it yields to gentle thumb pressure at stem end, it is in the "breaking" process and is ready for sale. This pear is almost egg shaped with little definition of "shoulder", and has a short stem. It is thin-skinned, with smooth textured white flesh. When ripe, its flavor is sweet and spicy and it is very juicy. The Anjou is the most abundant of all fresh pear varieties and is a favorite for eating fresh for salads.

Good for eating: October thru June

Ginger Glazed Pears And Ham

The Bosc is distinguished by its symmetrical body, long tapering neck and slim stem. A ripe Bosc has golden brown skin with a network of russeting over golden yellow. Gentle pressure at stem end tells you for sure when it's ready to eat. Flesh is tender, buttery and aromatic with natural fruit sugar. This Winter Pear is excellent for baking, broiling and poaching. It is delicious in preserves and for eating fresh.

Good for eating: August thru May

The Comice tends to turn from green to greenish-yellow when ripe and frequently has a crimson blush in its cheek. It has a chubby shape with a short, defined neck, and short stem. Eating quality is superb. The flesh is very smooth, aromatic and extremely juicy. Flavor is particularly sweet. At their best during the holiday season, these Winter Pears are favored for gift boxes and fruit baskets. Comice popularity and consumer demand has resulted in increased production and availability.

Good for eating: August thru March

The Winter Nelis is a medium to small pear with light brown russeting over a light green skin that becomes more golden when ripe. Its shape is fairly rounded with almost no neck definition. Flesh is creamy and sweet, with good cooking and canning qualities. Because of its usually smaller size, it makes a good snacking pear out-of-hand eating. Nelis come to market in October and quality remains good through may.

Good for eating: October thru April

The Forelle is a small Winter Pear, somewhat larger than the Seckel. Its shape is more elongated, often with a fairly definitive shoulder, and overall bell-like appearance. It is a very attractive, highly colored pear. As it ripens, the Forelle turns a golden yellow with brilliant red contrasting blush and pronounced "freckles" or lenticels, on its tender skin. Flesh is sweet and juicy.

Good for eating: October thru February

The Seckel is the smallest of all pear varieties. Often bite size, they can be green with a substantial dark red blush, or can be nearly all red. In the ripening process the red becomes brighter and the green takes on a yellow hue. flesh is a warm light ivory. The sweet Seckel is excellent for eating fresh. Seckels come to market in September and are usually available through November.

Good for eating: August thru January
Choosing the right pear.
  • Let them stand a few days at room temperature. As they ripen, changes occur on the inside of the fruit that greatly increase the sugar and the juice content. Don't always count on color changes to let you know when your pears are best for delicious eating. Some varieties will change color, and others do not.
  • You can retain the white or creamy color of pear flesh after cutting or peeling by sprinkling or brushing the cut surfaces with lemon juice. This will prevent browning.
  • Ripened pears should be placed in the refrigerator, to retard further ripening until you want to use them.
  • When they yield to gentle pressure at the stem end, they are ready to use immediately, or to store in your refrigerator until you are ready to use them.