A pear is not just a pear. You have several pear varieties with a range of characteristics. Some can offer a delicious, high-energy snack when eaten raw, and others are at their best as an ingredient in a healthy dessert. You have different colors, shapes, sizes and textures that make for options that can be good for different applications.
What is the best pear type for you? It all depends on your preferences and what you plan to do with the fruit. Read on to learn more about different types of pears and what makes them all so sweet.
If you are looking for a sweet, juicy pear, the Bartlett is hard to beat. The soft texture makes them good for eating raw, but they can also work well as an ingredient for sauces and pies. This is one of the most common pear varieties in the US, and they make up the bulk of pears used for canning and processing.
The Asian pear is a standout for how unpearlike it seems. It has a more round shape than its pear cousins, and by the looks, it seems more akin to an apple. Instead of the softer flesh of most other pears, the Asian pear tends to be firmer when ripe. This can make them desirable as a snack to eat raw, but they don’t perform well for things like baking or making purées.
The Comice variety offers some of the sweetest pears you will find. These pears are short and round when compared to many others, but they have delicate skin with a soft, juicy interior. The Comice pear is hard to beat if you are looking for a sweet piece of fruit to eat raw.
Concord pears are recognizable for their bright green color and long, slender necks. Sweeter than most pears, Concords are also known for having a flavor with a touch of vanilla. The flesh offers a nice balance of juiciness with crispness, so they can be appealing to eat raw. With that said, they also hold their shape well when cooked, so they can be one of the best pear varieties for poaching.
With an almost perfect pear shape and dappled green skin with patches of brown, the Bosc pear is ideal for a variety of cooking applications. They are not among the sweetest pears, but the firm flesh makes them ideal for baking, and they give off a pleasant pear aroma when cooking.
You have red and green varieties of Anjou pears. When it comes to taste and texture, you will find very little difference between the two colors. They have a touch of sweetness without being overly sweet, and the flesh is soft and juicy while still managing to be firm. Being so well balanced, many would consider it the best pear type for eating raw.
As a small piece of fruit, the Forelle pear can make a good snack. With that said, adults might need two to feel satisfied. The skin has a yellowish-green shade that turns red as the pear ripens. They are also identifiable for the freckles on the skin. Forelle pears are crisp when eaten raw, and they come with a touch of sweetness without being too sweet or too juicy.