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October 22, 2009

Pears... Pears... Pears...

Wow!! There are so many different kinds of pears. I never realized... I know silly. I learned from USA Pears, that we grow Green Anjou, Red Anjou, Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle, Seckel, and Starkrimson in the US. I have also learned that there are about 30 species of pear around the world. More include Asian Pears, Callery Pear, Plymouth Pear, Algerian Pear, Snow Pear, Willow-leafed Pear, and many more.

All this learnin' got started because our local grocery store was having a sale on pears. They were offering four different kinds, Red, Bosc, D' Anjou, and Bartlett. Now, I know what Bartlett Pears taste like. These are the most common pears in our area to buy and eat. But what about these other "flavors"? I wasn't sure which to buy. So... I bought one of each!

Our family did a taste test to see what the different pears taste like, and which ones we like best. Here's the line up with their results:

This was described as Sweet and Juicy by the boys. But my hubby and I didn't think had much flavor at all.

The boys described the Bartlett as Juicy and Good. The Hubby said, "it tastes like a pear, it's familiar". The little dude said this was his favorite.
The store listed this as "Red". So I don't know if it's Red Bartlett, or Red Anjou, or what exactly. But, we thought it was Juicy, soft, and the taste was a little sharp. It would be GREAT with cheese! We had one vote for the Red Pear as the best.

Last, but not least, the Bosc Pear. I REALLY liked this one! The boys said tart and juicy. The hubby and I said Crisp and Sweet (like candy). It was really good. I would declare this as the winner. But... we had four taste testers, one couldn't decide, and as you saw, we had one vote for two other pears.
Now I am wishing I had done this taste test earlier, so that I could go back and buy more at such a GREAT price! But it is the prime harvesting season, so I'm hoping to find more good deals on pears. Keep an eye open and taste test for yourself. Find that pear your family loves and savor it!

Some of these results could be skewed because of my lack in knowledge for picking the "perfect" pear. So I did some research on that too. Here's what I found (and where I found it).

Produce Oasis had great tips for individual types of pears.
How to Pick Ripe Pears: Most pears in the supermarket are not yet ripe, so choose those that are firm (but not extremely hard) and free from dark soft spots (brown speckles, though, are OK and may signify a better flavor). Once you get the pears home, leave them on the counter to ripen for a few days (or put them in a paper bag to speed things up).

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