The Juicy Facts on Pears

If your pear knowledge begins and ends with "those green ones," read on for everything you need to know about the apple's fragrant cousin!


Pear Primer

  • The pear is not only related to the apple, but also the rose.
  • There are thousands of varieties of pears, cultivated over millenia.
  • Skin on, pears are a good source of fibre.
  • The fruit also boasts plenty of vitamin C. In fact, one pear contains 11% of your daily intake!

Abate (a.k.a. Fetel) Pear

  • Once ripe, Abate pears soften quickly, so only buy as many as you plan to eat in the immediate future.
  • This variety of pear is rich in fructose so it's a good option when you need a burst of energy.
  • Abates are best eaten raw in salads or paired with cheese.
  • It should come as no surprise that Abates work well with Italian cheeses (e.g. pecorino Toscano or Sardo, but not salty Romano); they were originally cultivated in Italy.
  • They don't change colour when ripe. Instead, check the neck: Gently press the flesh around the stem of the pear; if it has a little give and is soft, it's ready to go.

Bartlett Pear

  • Bartletts are best eaten raw, canned, poached or baked. They also work wonderfully in jams or jellies.
  • They're marked by their quintessential pear flavour and sweet aroma.
  • The Bartlett pear's skin brightens as it ripens.
  • Bartlett pears can be subsituted for apples in most recipes.

Forelle Pear

  • The redhead of the pear world! The Forelle's red freckles, which appear as it ripens, set it apart from other varieties.
  • Forelles are good for poaching because they're firmer than other types and hold their shape well when cooked.

Asian Pear

  • Best eaten raw, straight-up!
  • They look like apples but taste like pears.
  • Choose Asian pears based on their smell, not their firmness. Look for a strong and sweet aroma (Note: Their aroma will not be as strong if cold).

Anjou Pear

  • Their shape is more egg-like than pear.
  • They're perfect for baking into desserts, such as tarts.
  • Ripen Anjou pears at room temperature in a sealed plastic bag alongside ripe bananas. Store them in the fridge until you're ready to eat.
  • Anjou pears don't change colour much when ripe.


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