Did you know there are over 3,000 varieties of pears grown across the world?!
Although only a fraction of these varieties are grown and sold in the United States, there are still eleven delicious and distinctive pears to try. Surely there are at least a couple that are new to you!
- Anjou and Red Anjou pears have a sweet, mild flavor and firm texture. This versatile variety is great for snacking and all types of cooking.
- Asian pears are super crisp, almost like an apple, and are typically eaten raw. Try them in salads or out of hand!
- Bartlett and Red Bartlett pears are the juiciest variety, and are best eaten raw. They can also be used to make pear butter or other recipes where a soft texture is desired.
- Bosc pears have a classic pear shape and texture, with a textured, brownish skin. They’re also great for snacking, but hold their shape well when cooked. Try them in cakes and other dessert recipes!
- Comice pears have a fine texture and a sweet, fruity flavor, making them an out of hand favorite. They’re slightly rounder in shape than most varieties, with a spotted green skin.
- Concorde pears have a crisp, dense flesh, making them ideal for cooking. Their flavor is often described as earthy with a hint of vanilla.
- Forelle pears are small, dense, and super-sweet, with a unique yellow-green skin that is naturally decorated with crimson freckles. These are great for snacking!
- French Butter pears are a fall favorite. With their smooth, juicy texture and sweet flavor, they are especially well suited for dessert recipes.
- Seckel pears are the smallest of the commercially grown varieties, with a sweet flavor that’s perfect for snacking.
- Starkrimson pears have a crimson red color that darkens as they ripen. With a smooth flesh, sweet flavor, and subtle floral aroma, these pears are perfect for snacking, salads, and other fresh uses.
- Taylor’s Gold pears are sweet, juicy, and very tender. These relative newcomers have a short growing season, peaking in the fall and winter months.
Pears are a great source of fiber, and are rich in vitamins C and K. Although different pear varieties vary greatly in size, a serving of the fruit (about one medium pear, or 166 grams) contains 96 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 12 percent of your daily value for vitamin C.
Their fiber content makes pears a filling, satisfying snack that also promotes regularity and may help control blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.
We’ve compiled a few great pear recipes, but clearly there’s room for more! Got a mouthwatering pear recipe? Share it with us!
Image Credit: Anushruti RK/Flickr