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Wednesday's In the Know: Pear Varieties

Yesterday’s Tip of the Day showed us how to easily core pears, so thankfully now we can enjoy them quicker!!! And since that’s no longer an issue (as if it ever was) let’s talk variety!  

Just like apples, there are numerous varieties of pears that grow across the United States and world! However, there are only a handful of which we can easily and readily find at our local markets throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular varieties, and a few you may not (nor had I) heard of!  

  • Asian Pears (combo of an apple and pear)
  • Bosc: “Bosc pears are a favorite for poaching and baking since their firmer texture means they retain their elegant shape when cooked. Boldly flavored, with an almost smoky sweetness and a gentle earthy musk, they're a pleasure to eat.” – Saveur  “The Bosc pear stands a head taller than other pears with its elongated slender neck. Its brown skin has a relatively rough texture and can have hints of yellow or green.” – Epicurious
  • Green Anjou: “Bright green even when ripe, the Green Anjou is easily identified by its squat, egg-like shape. Sweetly mellow with a smooth and juicy texture, this is the kind of pear to eat for breakfast: sliced over warm cereal, its flavor is both comforting and bright. While it's delicious eaten raw, it's versatile, holding up just as well to baking, poaching, and roasting. The most abundant variety in the U.S., these pears are always easy to find.” – Saveur
  • Red Anjou: “Similar in size and texture to its green cousin, the Red Anjou is sweeter and milder, with subtle hints of sweet spice replacing the Green Anjou's citrus notes. Use just as you would the green in any application, though the glowing red skin adds a nice pop of color when sliced into green salads.” – Saveur
  • Bartlett: “Mild and sweet with subtle, fragrant citrus notes, when they're a little green best any way but raw: canned, pureed, or baked. When ripe, the soft flesh bruises easily but rewards eaters with copious juice.” – Saveur
  • Red Bartlett: “With a bright, fresh sweetness and delicate floral hints, this pear is all about flavor. Smoother and sweeter than its yellow cousin, the Red Bartlett is similarly good for canning and preserves, and a much better choice for eating out of hand.” Saveur
  • Comice: “Lusciously textured and earthy in flavor, these mellow pears make exceptional desserts, and pair well with cheese.” – Saveur
  • Taylor’s Gold: “Related to the Comice pear, this large New Zealand pear is almost round and has a golden-brown skin. Its sweet juicy flesh is so smooth that it almost melts in your mouth. This is a good pear for making jams, jellies, and sauces.” – Epicurious
  • Concorde: “Sweet and fragrant with slight hints of vanilla, it is a good choice for baking and poaching, holding its shape well at high heats. Another perk: the flesh doesn't brown in the air as quickly as other pears, making it a good aesthetic choice for garnishes and salads.” – Saveur
  • Forelle: "Forelle" means "trout" in German, a namesake reflected in this small pear's red-spotted green skin. Firmer and tarter than other varieties, this pear resembles an apple in both taste and texture, great for eating out of hand or sliced with salads, cheese, or a drizzle of honey.” – Saveur
  • Seckel: “With velvety flesh that sings in notes of sweet champagne, enjoy this pear out of hand, or balance its sweetness with some good sharp cheese and a glass of wine. Roasting the pears transforms the grained, juicy flesh into a decadent side dish.” – Saveur
  • Starkrimson: “The Starkrimson has a lingering taste of perfume and a smooth, soft texture. This pear is best baked, which diminishes its strong floral flavor -- it can be cloying when eaten raw.” – Saveur

Now that you know the abundance of varieties available for your juicy pleasure, it’s time to hit the market and try them all!

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Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!


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Tiffany Lewis

Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!