Pear Varieties

Bartlett, D'Anjou, Bosc, Asian,
Flemish Beauties, and Red Clapp

pear fruit

There are more than 5,000 pear varieties grown worldwide.

Bartlett pears are most versatile and most commonly found pear fruit in supermarkets. They are excellent canned, fresh, and in salads and pear desserts.

The pear is actually a member of the rose family, and a cousin to the apple, and is one of the oldest fruits known to man.

They are thought to have originated is China or Asia, and migrated to North America with colonists in the early 1700's, and are also one of the first fruits to be brought to North America from Europe.

As one of the few fruits that do not mature well if allowed to ripen on the tree, pears are usually picked before they are ripe, and are a later harvest fruit in the Okanagan British Columbia.

Those that do ripen on the tree will have a gritty texture and the flesh will turn brown and soft. Once harvested, pears are packed and stored in cold storage in the packinghouse.

The shape of a pear varies from apple to teardrop shaped. It's skin color ranges from light yellow through to red and brown. The flesh of a pear is juicy and in some varieties, such as Asian pears, almost translucent.

A rich, sweet and buttery flavor, pears are delicious on their own, in desserts and sweets, and are outstanding in main dishes. They are so tender they were once called the "butter fruit".

They can be baked, pickled, canned, frozen, used in baby food, or processed into jams, jellies and pies.

Although they were once exclusively a fall and winter fruit, pears today, thanks to modern storage and transportation methods, are available in the markets nearly year-round.

Okanagan Pear Varieties

Yellow Bartlett

Yellow Bartlett pears are the most common pear variety world-wide.

They have clear yellow skin when ripe. The flesh of a Bartlett is juicy and sweet with a smooth texture, making them ideal for eating fresh. Bartlett pears are nearly bell shaped, are also extremely aromatic pears, and have that distinct "pear flavor".

Bartlett's are very commonly used for canning because they keep their flavor even after heating, and will hold their shape well when baked or poached. Try a sliced Bartlett in a garden green salad with your favorite dressing. Or, simply serve a freshly sliced Bartlett with cheese for an appetizing snack.

When choosing a Bartlett pear look for one that is bright and fresh looking with no bruises or external damage. It will change color as it ripens. Yellow Bartletts turn from light green to golden yellow. In the Okanagan Bartlett pears mature beginning the end of August and are available through December.

Red Bartlett Pears

The Red Bartlett, known also as 'Max Red', was first discovered on a regular Bartlett tree near Zillah, Washington in 1938. Red Bartlett pears have all the wonderful flavor and sweet aroma of the regular Bartlett, plus a beautiful red skin color. They can vary in color from a light red vertical striping over a green background to a dark, solid maroon color. In almost all respects, Red Bartlett pears are nearly the same as Yellow Bartletts.

red bartlett pear

As they ripen, Red Bartletts color brightens to a clear, strong red, as the green background pigments change to yellow, just as they do in the green Bartlett variety. They add a beautiful contrast of color in fruit bowls and baskets, while providing the delicious flavors and smooth textures of Yellow Bartletts. Red Bartlett pear varieties are excellent eaten fresh or in salads, canned, baked or poached, and even prepared as roasted pears. When ripe, Red Bartlett pears give off a sweet aroma. This pear also bruises easily when ripe. Because of their flavor and sweetness, Red Bartlett pear varieties are a good, all-around choice for pear preserves, syrups, pear sauce and chutneys, in pear dessert recipes, and for a favorite homemade pear jam recipe.

D'Anjou Pear (On-ju)ett Pears

D'Anjou pear varieties are the main winter pear grown in B.C., and are available in both red and green pears. D'Anjou pears grown commercially in Canada come from British Columbia. They are recognizable by their egg-shaped appearance. Neither the red or green variety changes color with ripening so the best way to tell when an Anjou is ripe is to press gently against the stem end of the fruit. If it gives slightly, your Anjou is ripe and ready to be eaten.

red d'anjou pear

The D'Anjou pear is a popular winter pear due to its mild, sweet flavor and it's abundance of juice. D'Anjou pears are also called the 'Green Anjou' and these pear varieties are harvested green.

The flesh ripens over time into a sweet, juicy, flavorful pear and a firm, dense texture that is less grainy than other pear varieties. D'Anjou pears have excellent keeping qualities. Ripe D'Anjou's should be kept in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Because of their deliciously rich flavor, D'Anjou pears are best eaten fresh out of hand or in fresh salads. They can also be good for baking or poachingbefore they are fully ripe. Anjou pears can also be used in a pear pie recipe, cakes, pear crisp and crumbles, sherbet, preserves, pastas and in fresh salads as a main course.

More To Read....:)
Tips for choosing and storing pear fruit
Tips for canning pears
Recipes for pear desserts

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