SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Now that we’ve entered the height of pear season, it seems like a good time to review some especially noteworthy varieties of this marvelous fruit.
The earliest pears started coming in August, then more September. Pear trees will continue to bear fruit until Spring.
With more than 3,000 known varieties of pear, how many favorites can a guy have?
KCBS Food And Wine Editor Narsai David:
Let’s start with the Bartlett, which of course is the classic pear. It’s very juicy with that wonderful, traditional pear flavor. You’ll find the same basics in the Red Bartlett, but this latter variety is a bit more floral.
For a crisp, crunchy pear, try the Basque. Biting into one of those is like biting into the crispest, crunchiest apple. And the russet-colored skin is something that you can eat right along with the meat of the fruit because it all crunches together.
The Comice pear has a very sweet, buttery flavor. But if it’s very mature, consider peeling it since the skin starts to get a little tough and unpleasant as the fruit ages.
Seckel pears are tiny little things about the size of a lady apple. They’re very sweet, very crunchy and just plain fun to eat.
There are two kinds of Anjou pear, green and red. Green Anjou pears are firm and juicy. The Red Anjou is similar, but more aromatic.
I’ve saved my favorite for last: the Warren pear. You don’t find it very frequently. To my knowledge, Frog Hollow Farm is the only producer that grows this variety in any substantial volume.
Warren pears have a buttery flavor and a buttery texture. This is one you have to peel because otherwise the rind actually interferes with the delicate floral aroma inside.
Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53am, 12:53pm and 4:53pm, and at 2:53am Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)