The Pear Necessities: Our Favorite Varieties

Pair up with one of our favorite winter fruits. From Anjous to Bartletts and beyond, the juicy texture and varied flavors of pears can add subtle sophistication to a wide array of dishes. However, with so many popular varieties, it can be daunting to create a perfect pairing on the plate. Use this guide to pinpoint the best pear for your kitchen.

Anjou

Traditionally found in both green and red varieties, Anjous offer a balanced flavor profile and a mildly crisp texture. Anjous are therefore appropriately versatile, so they’ll hold up in most cooking methods! Additionally, these are the most popular

  • Best For: Salads and baking
    • Pro Tip: Aside from the hue, red and green anjous are nearly identical. Paint the plate with your favorite color!

Bosc

This heavy duty pear hides an unexpected flavor profile. Though they still retain a classically sweet flavor, you may notice earthy or even smoky undercurrents. We’re big fans of its hearty, crisp texture too!

  • Best For: Poaching, cooking whole

Comice

If you have a sweet tooth, Comices are the pears for you. This saccharine variety is extremely creamy and is best served raw. It looks great on a cheese plate too, so don’t be afraid to pair it with a creamy cheese.

  • Best For: Serving raw or on a cheese plate

Bartlett

Potentially the juiciest of all pears, Bartletts are a fantastic option if you know how to handle them. Their gentle citrus notes stand out during the cooking process, but their soft flesh loses its shape easily. Therefore, avoid Bartletts if you want to cook whole pears.

  • Best For: Sauces

Starkrimson

These pears can take a little searching to find, but they’re absolutely worth it. The beautifully red pear contains a floral sweetness and a ton of juice. As such, it can be fairly messy if you serve it raw, so we’d recombined cooking with this variety.

  • Best For: Baking