Pears, Pears, Pears
When you think of pears, the first that comes to mind is sweet and juicy. Think of all the yummy baked goods you could make with them, but knowing which type of pear is best for what you are making is what makes the difference. You may find you are only really acquainted with 3 varieties. That's kind of what I realized. I had no idea there were so many different kinds and I probably would only be able to tell the difference between like 3. Anyhow, here are what they look like and what they are good for.
Most familiar, the Bartlett Pear, tends to be very juicy and soft when ripe. If you want to make a butter or a jam then these are the pears for you. If you want to make a pie or baked good where the slices will hold their shape, then choose another more firm pear. But we are very familiar with this pear and how juicy they can be when eaten raw.
Asian Pears are the crunchiest pear. In fact, they are more like an apple in shape, texture, and can bake the same as well. That makes them great in pies or tarts where they will hold their shape when cut into slices. They are also a great crunchy addition to salads.
Forelle Pears tend to be petite, making them a snacking pear. They are just so cute! Forelle's are crisp and sweet and make cute appetizer recipes. Perhaps dipping them in caramel to make a dessert. Either way, if you have not explored these pears, do so when they are in season from October to February.
Concorde Pears are a mix between a Bosc and a Comice. They are usually green and if they have a redness to them it is because they were overexposed to the sun. These pears hold their shape well, making them good in a tart or pie and for poaching.
Seckel Pears are the smallest pear. They are so small, you may only get a few bites. I have found conflicting information on their flavor. Some say they are firm and almost acidic in taste, while others claim they can be called the "sugar pear." You will have to try them and make the call. Since they are more firm though, these are good for canning, poaching, and baking. They won't get too mushy.
Comice Pears supposedly have the sweetest flavor and the best pear to eat raw. They are shaped a bit more like an apple and can be firm.
These are the prettiest pears, once you dress them up. These pears have beautiful long necks making them picturesque when dipped. These pears can be firm and hold their shape when baked, but can be grainy too sometimes. These pears can be fun to shop for, if you can't get their scent right away, move on to the next one.
Last, definitely not least, the Anjou Pear is one of California's more popular pears. They are not the sweeter pear and can be firm, nevertheless, they are the juiciest pear. They will drip!
With lots of varieties to choose from selecting the perfect texture and flavor profile for your next project may not be easy, but have fun with it and play around with the wonder varietal options until you find that perfect pear.