Some of America’s most popular pears. From top to bottom: Bosc, Comice, Forelle, Green Anjou, Seckel (photos courtesy USA Pears).
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEARS
Thanks to USA Pears for this background material.
Fresh domestic pears are available year-round. Although each pear variety has its own unique properties, most can be substituted for each other in recipes.
Bartlett Pears: August to February
The Bartlett pear turns from bright green to golden yellow as it ripens. Very juicy and sweet, with aromatic flesh, it is used most for canning and for salads or desserts (photo above).
Red Bartlett Pears: August to January
The Red Bartlett turns bright red as it ripens and is similar in flavor and texture to the yellow Bartlett.
Bosc Pears: September to April
Bosc pears have long, tapered necks and skin that is naturally russet to a cinnamon brown. Dense, fragrant, and honey-sweet flesh with a texture that holds its shape when heated, the Bosc is a good choice for baking, poaching, grilling and roasting.
Comice Pears: September to March
Pronounced co-MEESE, these pears have a full, round shape with a short neck and stem. They are usually green, sometimes with a red blush. They are very succulent, with a custard-like texture and mellow sweetness. They are best as an eating pear and go well with cheese. They don’t hold up well in cooking.
Concorde Pears: September to February
The Concorde has a tall, elongated neck and firm, dense flesh, with skin that is golden green, usually with golden yellow russets. Its flavor has vanilla undertones and, like the Bosc, it has a firm texture that holds up well when baking, grilling or poaching. It is one of the newer varieties, introduced in the past 10 years.
D’Anjou Pears: September to July
Green D’Anjou pears, recognized by their egg-like shape, stay green when fully ripe. With moist, sweet and dense flesh, the D’Anjou is excellent for snacking or baking.
Red D’Anjou Pears: September to May
Sweet and succulent when ripe, red D’Anjou pears are similar to their green counterparts. The red skin is a colorful addition to salads, desserts and main dishes.
Forelle Pears: October to March
The Forelle, known for its smaller size and unique yellow-green skin, is tasty sweet with a crisp texture even when ripe. Ideal for kids’ lunches and baked desserts.
Seckel Pears: September to February
Seckel pears are another small variety, recognized by their maroon skin, with olive-green coloring. With their crunchy flesh and ultra-sweet flavor, they are great for snacks, pickling or garnishing.
Starkrimson Pears: August to January
Another new variety introduced within the past 10 years, Starkrimson pears have a brilliant crimson red skin and a thick, stocky stem. Juicy and sweet, they have smooth flesh and a distinct floral aroma.
MORE DELICIOUS PEAR DESSERTS