Bartlett pears are the only pears that have a “true” pear (or pyriform) shape and taste. The fruit’s color brightens as it ripens, which is a characteristic unique to Bartlett pears; most pears do not change color when ripe. At harvest they are a vibrant green, changing to yellow when ready to eat. When unripe, the texture can be gritty. The Bartlett pear has a distinct flavor and sweetness, its white flesh has a smooth, buttery texture.
Bartlett pears are available year-round; however their peak season is during the fall and winter months.
Bartlett pears are the most popular variety of European pear, known scientifically as Pyrus communis, in the world. Pears are members of the rose, or Rosaceae family. In the United States, Bartlett pears are the first variety to be harvested during the fall season.
Bartlett pears are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
Bartlett pears can be eaten fresh, out-of-hand, or paired with cheese. They add a sweet flavor to salads and make excellent preserves, syrups, and chutneys. Bartlett pears are known as the “canning pear” because they have a distinct flavor and sweetness which preserves well. They make great additions to cakes, muffins, crisps and quick breads. Bartlett pears are also delicious dried or sautéed to compliment pork dishes. To ripen let sit at room temperature for a few days or in a paper bag to expedite the process, ripe Bartlett pears keep best in the refrigerator.