Pears are a delicious fruit but if you’ve just discovered them, you might be overwhelmed at all the different varieties. We’ll look at ten of the most common types of pears so you know how to eat them, when to eat them, and why they’re just so delicious.
How many varieties of pears are there?
There are over 3000 known varieties of pears around the world. However, in North America, there is a more limited selection in most grocery stores.
The nice aspect of pears is that there are varieties for every taste. Some are juicy, some are tart. Some are firm while others are softer. Whether you want a tasty snack to sink your teeth into or want to create an elaborate dessert, there is a variety of pear that will meet your criteria.
Pears do have a typical shape, that is rounded on the top with a larger roundness at the bottom. However, some pears will have longer necks while other pears appear more like a round apple than anything else.
10 Popular Types of Pears
1. Green and Red Anjou
Anjou pears are some of the most common varieties of pear, and for good reason. They are very juicy but also have a firm texture so they can be used in a lot of recipes.
While you can expect a juicy texture from Anjou pears, their taste is not overly sweet. Instead, expect a hint of lemmon when you bite into them.
Green and Red Anjou pears are different colors but their tastes are virtually the same. You can use either type when cooking.
Anjou pears are available from October to May.
Bartlett pears, also known as Williams pears, are very juicy and great for eating raw. Unfortunately, their juiciness cooks down quickly, so they lose their shape in the process.
If you want to show off a cooked pear’s shape, then this isn’t the best variety. However, Bartlett pears are great for sauces or butters.
Bartlett pears are available from July to October.
Seckel pears are the quintessential snacking pear. They are tiny and you can devour them in just one or two bites.
Despite their size, these pears are very versatile. They can be eaten raw, cooked in many dishes, and even canned.
Although they are often snacked on, be wary of their sometimes bitter taste, which sometimes takes a while to get used to.
Seckel pears are available from September to December.
Bosc pears are the perfect, crisp treat. Whey can be eaten raw, they are often used in cooking because they hold their shape so well around heat.
On the outside, expect Bosc pears to be a russet brown in color. They will be fairly firm, even when ripe, giving just a little when squeezed gently.
You can use Bosc pears in just about any dishes, including the famous pear tarte.
Bosc pears are available from September through the winter, and some are even available in March and April.
Comice pears are the perfect lunch snack. They are delicious when eaten raw thanks to their fruity flavor.
While some pears tend to have a grainy texture, Comice pears don’t, which is why it’s so nice to eat them raw.
These pears have a yellow-green skin color although their is often a red marking on one side. This red comes from when the sun hits that particular spot.
Comice pears are usually available from September to February.
6. Asian Pears
Asian pears share a lot of similarities with apples. Not only are they rounder in shape, but they are very crunchy.
Within the category of Asian pears are many varieties. Common in North America are Asian pears that have a tan color and a bit of roughness to their skin.
Asian pears are available from August to February.
Starkrimson pears are incredibly beautiful. They have a very deep red color to them, although inside you can expect a mild flavor.
They are sweet and a bit floral, and of average size. Expect the red skin to deepen in color as the pear ripens.
Starkrimson pears are available from August to December.
Forelle pears are small and oval in shape, making them quite distinguishable. They have a smooth skin which is freckled with yellow and green specks.
As the skin ripens, the paler skin will actually turn a deep red, which is a nice indicator of when it is ready to be eaten.
Forelle pears are quite sweet. They are a great choice for children because they are small and sweet, and make for a tasty snack.
Concorde pears have a traditional pear shape, although their necks are considerably longer than other varities. Their taste is quite juicy.
These pears are great for both eating raw and cooking. Their flesh retains its color and doesn’t brown very much when cut. Furthermore, you can cook Concorde pears and they will retain their shape, thanks to their dense mass.
Concorde pears are available September to February.
10. French Butter Pears
French Butter pears need a bit more knowledge when selecting them as they can be quite sour and tough when raw. However, once they are ripe, they are juicy and soft and perfect for eating raw.
These pears will start off green and turn a golden color as they ripen. They have a slight lemon flavor to them.
French Butter pears are available from September to December.
What is the best tasting pear?
The best tasting pear is all about perception. However, for that perfect pear flavor, many people choose Bosc pears. Bartlett pears are also a fan favorite.
What are the juiciest pears?
The juiciest pear varieties are Anjou pears, Bartlett pears, and Concorde pears. Expect to use a lot of napkins when eating them because of their juicy flesh.
If you want a tarter tasting pear, try Seckel pears. They are still often eaten raw but their bitter taste takes some getting used to.
Pears are sometimes lost in the quest for the perfect piece of food. But there are many varieties to choose from that can be either enjoyed raw or in your favorite recipe.