Bosc pears are a large variety with a long curved stem and an elongated neck that gradually ends in a rounded bottom; a “true pear” shape. Bosc pears have a golden russet-colored skin. The creamy, off-white flesh is tender yet crisp with an intense honeyed aroma. Bosc pears have a pleasantly sweet flavor with hints of fall spices. The flesh of a Bosc pear may be dense, but it is also quite juicy. To check for ripeness, press the base of the stem to see if the flesh gives a bit. Bosc pears will ‘give’ slightly less than other pear varieties. Occasional wrinkling can be found at the base of the stem when Bosc pears are ripe. These European pears are typically achieved full flavor and juiciness earlier in the ripening process than most other pears and can be enjoyed before the flesh softens.
Bosc pears are available in the fall through the early spring.
Bosc pears are a winter variety of Pyrus communis, commonly known as the European pear. For centuries artists have chosen Bosc pears for their paintings and drawings because of their true pear shape and unique warm, russet skin. Bosc pears are known throughout Europe by many different names, those names carried with them around the world. The shapely pears are known as Beurré Bosc for their ‘buttery’ flavor and Calabasse Bosc for its gourd-like shape, they are also called Kaiser Alexander in some countries.
Bosc pears can be enjoyed fresh, baked or even dried. When eaten fresh, they are best at room temperature. A common misconception is that Bosc pears must be peeled or cooked before being consumed, which is neither true nor necessary. Bosc pears stand up to cooking and retain their shape, making them ideal for tarts, pies and poaching. Grill halved Bosc pears and top with gorgonzola cheese and chopped walnuts. The flavor of Bosc pears isn’t overwhelmed by strong spices or other flavors. Add sliced Bosc pears to salads or cheese boards, or pair with roasted meats like chicken or pork. As with other pear varieties, ripen Bosc pears at room temperature and refrigerate up to a week.