When you say “Pear” most people picture a Yellow Bartlett. It has that quintessential “pear flavor,” the classic pear shape and is a common variety found in local markets. This fruit’s color brightens as it ripens, which is a characteristic unique to Bartlett pears; most pears do not change color when ripe. The Bartlett pear has a distinct flavor and sweetness, its white flesh has a smooth, buttery texture. At harvest they are a vibrant green, changing to yellow when ready to eat. Peak season for pears is during the fall and winter months, though available year round.
The French D’Anjou is a green, bell-shaped pear that’s perfect for snacking, baking or sliced into salads. When fully ripe, the D’Anjou is so sweet and juicy, you’ll want to keep a napkin handy. The only problem is figuring out when it’s ripe. Unlike the green Bartlett, the D’Anjou does not change color as it ripens. It remains green even when fully ripe. How to tell when they’ve ripened? Gently press the neck with your thumb. When the pear gives slightly, it’s ready. Pears are climacteric fruit. They ripen off the tree and from the inside out, from the core outward. The slender neck is the spot on the pear closest to the core. If you waited for the pear’s fat bottom to give to gentle pressure, the pear would be overripe on the inside.