Don't get me wrong, I'm all about using apples in just about everything during the fall, however, I think fresh pears deserve some extra attention. Once ripe, pears are super sweet, a little crunchy and hold up to a lot of different cooking methods. You can't forget about the health benefits, too. Pears are a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and are known to improve digestion. Even though you can find pears year-round at the grocery store or farmer's market, there's nothing like making the most out of them in the fall or winter. Put the apples aside, and stock up on some pears! From Bartlett to Anjou, we broke down every type of pear so you know what to look out for at the store. Check out all of the pear varieties below.
Popular Pear Varieties
1. Green Anjou
Green Anjou pears are bright green when ripe and easy to find at the store. They have a round shape and thick stem end with a mild flavor. They're juicy and perfect eaten raw or hold up well in baking and cooking. You really can't go wrong with this pear variety.
2. Red Anjou
Red Anjou pears are basically the same as Green Anjou pears, except Red Anjou pears, have a gorgeous dark red skin. Put Red Anjou pears on display in the kitchen, eat raw, or toss them with some cinnamon sugar for a pear crisp.
A personal favorite, Bartlett pears are nothing but delicious. Bartletts have a greenish-yellow outer skin that turns more golden once ripe. They're juicy, sweet, and best to eat raw. Be on the lookout though, Bartlett pears do tend to ripen quickly and bruise. If you decide to bake with your Bartletts, make sure they're not too overripe since they can turn mushy.
If you notice they've gone a little too far in the ripening process, try whipping up a pear butter or pear sauce
4. Red Bartlett
Red Bartlett pears are just as sweet and juicy as their golden relative, however, they have a red skin with a few specks of yellow throughout. Make sure to apply gentle pressure when checking the ripeness of your Red Bartlett pears since they do bruise easily.
If you want a pear variety that's ideal for an elegant dessert like poached pears, go for Bosc. Bosc pears have a long, slender neck and round bottom with brown skin. They have a firmer texture and are slightly sweet and earthy in flavor. You can eat Bosc pears raw, but like mentioned before, they're great to use in baking or for poaching in some red or white wine and spices.
6. Asian Pears
Asian pears are pretty easy to find around the United States and I like to think of them as a mix between a pear and an apple. They're shaped like an apple and are super crunchy and refreshing. Asian pears have a crisp texture rather than that familiar grainy pear texture and are delicious eaten raw.
Dice up and toss in a salad or slice and use in your next tart or crisp recipe.
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Comics pears are more rounded than regular pears with short necks and green skin. As they ripen, the skin develops some red streaks. Comics pears are super sweet and great to eat raw paired with some cheese or even poached.
Sweet and fragrant, Concorde pears are known for their vibrant green skin and long necks. Concorde pears are very similar to Bosc pears and are juicy and flavorful. The best thing about Concorde pears is that they don't brown as quickly when you slice into them.
Itty bitty Seckel pears are of course, super cute but pack in a ton of sweet flavor. You'll finish a Seckel pear in about two or three bites, so they make the perfect, crunchy snack along with a glass of wine and some cheese.
Forelle pears are a little bigger than Seckel pears and have a speckled green and red skin. They're slightly tart, but still sweet in flavor and are excellent for snacking.
Talk about an eye-catcher! Starkrimson pears have a stunning deep red skin and smooth texture. They're sweet but have a strong floral flavor, so it's best to bake this type of pear.