Get to know the humble pear. From smooth-skinned Bartlett to leathery looking (but very delicious) Bosc pears, we’re here to help you pick the best pears for eating, baking, and salads.
When are pears in season?
In general, pears are in season from August through October, although there may be some variations depending on where the variety you have in mind is grown. In the U.S., over 90% of the pears available in supermarkets are grown domestically.
Types of Pears
Asian pear trees are native to East Asia, but today they’re grown across the world, including in the U.S.. Asian pears are large and juicy. They have a higher water content than most European pear varieties. This water content gives the fruit a delicious texture when eaten raw, but makes them less suitable for baking and jam making.
The Bosc pear, sometimes known as the Kaiser pear, is native to France and Belgium. It is named after Louis Bosc, a French horticulturist. Bosc pears are a deep brown color and have a slightly rough peel. Their flesh is firm and juicy. This texture makes the Bosc pear well-suited for baking or poaching.
The Bartlett pear, sometimes called the Williams pear, ripens from green to yellow. To tell if these pears are completely ripe, press lightly on the pear near the stem. If the fruit gives slightly under pressure, it’s ready to eat. Bartlett pears have a buttery texture, and are the pears most often used in canning in the U.S..
Anjou pears are well-suited for baking, poaching, or roasting. When eaten raw, they have a subtle sweetness and light lemony flavor. Anjou pears can be red or green. They have a short neck and a bell-shaped body.
Comice pears were originally cultivated in France. They’re known as the sweetest pear variety, and are often the variety shipped in gift boxes. Because of this, they’re sometimes given the nickname “the Christmas pear.” Comice pears have light green skin with a blush of pinkish red.
Taylor’s Gold pears were first discovered in New Zealand. Their name is a nod to their golden brown skin. Taylor’s Gold pears may be a mutation of the Comice pear. Taylor’s Gold pears are good for cooking, baking, or eating raw.
Seckel pears trace their origins to Pennsylvania. These pears are small with a short neck and round body. Their flesh is sweet and crunchy. The fruit has a larger grain than most European varieties. It is harvested in the fall, but stores well, and can be eaten throughout the winter.
After you stock up on your favorite pears, try our recipe for spiced pear butter.