Pears

Pears

It's hard to improve on the flavor of a soft, juicy raw pear, but combine it with blue cheese or prosciutto, and you'll have something truly divine. You can also bake or poach pears, or use them to make tarts.


Pears become soft and fragile when they're ripe, so grocers want you to buy them while they're still hard and then ripen them at home for a few days. Putting them in a paper bag speeds up the process. They're ready to eat when the base yields slightly to pressure from your thumb.


Equivalents: 1 pound = 3 pears


To get substitutions for pears in general, click here.


Varieties:


Anjou pear
Anjou pear
These economical pears aren't as tasty as some of the other varieties, but they're still good for both eating and cooking. The peel stays light green even when the pear is ripe.
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Bartlett pear
Bartlett pear
These are very juicy and great for eating out of hand. They turn yellow when ripe.
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Bosc pear
Bosc pear
This firm and crunchy pear is the best choice for cooking, because it holds its shape nicely. Bosc pears can also be eaten out of hand.
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California sugar pear
California sugar pear
This small pear is the same size as a Seckel pear, but it's not as juicy and sweet.
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Comice pear
Comice pear
These juicy pears are considered to be the best for eating out of hand, but they're very expensive.
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red Anjou pear
red Anjou pear
Very similar to a green Anjou pear.
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red Bartlett pear
red Bartlett pear
This tastes just like a yellow Bartlett, but it's more attractive and more expensive.
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Seckel pear
Seckel pear
These are small pears with red and green skins. They're very sweet and juicy and they'd be absolutely perfect if only the skins weren't a bit too thick.
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Winter Nellis pear
Winter Nellis pear
These are especially good for baking.
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