Best tasting Pear

floramakros(Earth CA 9)January 25, 2014

Hi Everyone, I'd like to get a pear tree this year. I'd like the most delicious variety for eating raw straight off the tree. Are there any recent best tasting lists out there or one that wins every contest? I'd also love to read your personal opinions. I live in the Sacramento Valley so if it needs a pollinator that won't be a problem, every fruit tree in my yard gets visited by thousands of bees & other pollinators, it's orchard central here. Thanks for your input.

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That would be an Asian Pear then because European Pears need to be ripened off the tree a week or two.

Chojuro and Hosui would be my recommendation if you get their chills (450 and 300-400 respectively).

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 8:19PM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

Really? Back East when I was a kid we had a pear tree at one of the homes we lived in (I think they called it Italian but it definitely was European not Asian). The fruits would be hard then they'd soften and get a red blush. We would pick them and the juice would run down our chins when we bit into them, they were soft and absolutely delicious. Bees and wasps used to get drunk on the nectar of the fallen fruits, that tree had a ton of fruit. Are you saying it's better to pick them hard even for eating at home?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:38PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

What FN is saying is European pears generally need off-tree ripening time. Not all Euro pears need off-tree ripening however and it sounds like the ones of your childhood was one of those. Seckel ripens on the tree; its a great pear but is very small. I have heard of several others but can't think of the names now. I have an obscure pear called Fondante des Moulins-Lille which can ripen on the tree and sounds similar to your childhood pear: juice is all over and the bees are having a feeding frenzy when they ripen. Tierra Madre Farms was selling it last I looked.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 8:53AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Euro pears are awesome. I thought my Bartletts, picked when they turn a little light in color, stored in fridge for 2 weeks , then ripened at room temp. Absolutely awesome. Same with colette, and Ayers too. I cant wait for all the others I have to begin fruiting.
The precocity in fruiting is why I also like asians. Hosui, chojuro, yoinashi and Korean, so far and waiting on another 6 or so other varieties to begin to produce.
I am optimistic about shinsui, chilled and enjoyed when it's 85

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:28AM
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alan haigh

Comice is often considered the ultimate eating pear for west coast growers, but ripening is complicated. I believe if you try to ripen them on the tree they may rot in the center before properly ripening.

Seckel pears are small but if properly thinned not in a way I find at all limiting of the eating pleasure. They are an ideal home orchard pear of exceptional eating quality.

Comice is a luscious type pear, if you like crisp pears it may not be for you. Seckel can be eaten either crisp ripe of soft ripe with the soft being more luscious but not quite up to Comice standards.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 9:39AM
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I got some Seckel pears at the store last week and the outsides smell so wonderful, but I was a little disappointed because the inside was sweet and delicious but didn't have a taste to correspond with the interesting smell. Maybe home grown Seckel have that flavor inside and out.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 4:50PM
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Gold Spice is a fine small pear. I am also trying to get a crop from Dana's Hovey and White Doyenne but no success yet- they have good reputations and are also on the small side.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 7:27PM
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OR, a Seckel will never have the flavor of a Doyenne du Comice. I don't see this passion for eating off the tree, even if I am the first to spend an hour in a cherry or fig tree an enjoy it immensely. If careful aging allows eating every fruit at nearly ideal ripeness, I think it is a plus. And extending the harvest is another plus.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 10:20PM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

Hi Glib, if I was a commercial grower or if it was crucial for my family's or country's food supply of course I would agree with you that the pleasure of letting bees enjoy fallen fruit and the luxury of seeing a beautiful pear on the tree and being able to, right at that instant, pick and eat it would be folly. Every lost fruit would have a dollar sign attached to it. But I try to live a more casual less utilitarian lifestyle, especially when the excess goes to animals like all the wild mammals and birds that enjoy my extra bounty. What they don't eat is composted, nothing is thrown out and I enjoy feeding wildlife. I also love to watch the natural process of fruit ripening on the tree instead of artificially removing all their fruit simultaneously and leaving them bare the rest of the season but that's just my personal aesthetic, I like my trees to be bearing fruit. There's more than plenty for all my human family and well as the animals, I live a blessed life.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 11:35PM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

Hi ScottSmith, the Fondante des Moulins-Lille is tree ripening? If it is then it's perfect. Wow, you're right, it even looks like that pear I used to eat, great job! Here's the description for anyone else interested:

Flesh is melting, very juicy, sweet and rich in flavor. Excellent dessert pear. Trees are vigorous and are good annual bearers. Shows good fireblight resistance. Ripens October. Blooms midseason. Originated in France, 1858.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 12:14AM
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You are probably remembering a Bartlett pear from you childhood. But I would like to make an alternative suggestion. I have two asion pears that are very resistant to fire blight. One is hosui and the other is shinko. Both are very tasty, sweet, juicy, and crisp right off of the tree. I suggest you get a hosui and after a couple of years graft on a bartlett scion onto it to give you two types of pears on one tree. Later, you could add a third type if you want.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:13AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Flora, it doesn't rot on the tree but I ripen most of them off the tree since the wasps like them too much.

This pear was more common in past years so there is some chance it is what you had, but it probably was one of many other similar varieties - like apples there are thousands of pear varieties out there.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:02AM
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My only real experience with pears was a Bartlett on a relatives property. We picked before they were ripe and chose the day based our schedule. When they ripened they were the most amazing pears I've ever had.

At the time we picked, looking carefully on the tree you could find a few almost ripe, most were green and not yet what you want to eat. After we got home we checked every day for the ready to eat ones. within 7-10 days they were al ripe and we have to process them to pear sauce which was wonderful.

I don't see pears being a lot different then other fruit in the harvest process. We pick apples and peaches over just a few days and they take kitchen space and we make sauce and etc with those too.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:23AM
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floramakros(Earth CA 9)

Hi cckw, your kitchen sounds wonderful. If Barletts can be eaten off the tree then maybe the tree of my youth was that variety but as Scott said there are so many kinds out there we'll never really know. Previous homeowners especially if they're not the original ones tend to forget the varieties planted on the property after a few decades, the house itself was built in 1918 so the property had plenty of history. Now here's the heartbreaking part, I was in the area a couple of years back and decided to check it out. The house, the pear tree and two massive old cherry trees we had were all gone, a giant new housing development has eaten up the entire lot, there's literally no front or backyard left! Enjoy those wide empty spaces while you can, I feel sorry for future generations.

Getting back to my philosophy, I understand the need for bulk harvesting and off plant ripening, I grow vegetables including sweet potatoes which have a complicated curing process. I just try to avoid fruit trees that require the same treatment. For example, the avocado variety I grow is Holiday, it takes 18 months to ripen on the tree! Every March it starts its new crop, so there are literally fruits developing on that tree of various sizes at all times! I love that! Each of its giant fruits is like a bottle of wine waiting to be opened at the right time and when you do pick a ripe one, wow, it's the best avocado I've ever tasted! Some of my citrus trees have fruits on them 10 or 11 months out of the year. I grow fruit trees because not only do I love their taste but the ornamental qualities of hanging fruit appeals to me, if it didn't it would be so much easier just to go to the farmer's market and dig in if ripe fruit was my only goal. Hope that explains things a bit better.

This post was edited by floramakros on Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 13:05

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 12:54PM
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