What are Asian Pears?

The best way to eat an Asian pear!

Texture and Flavor

There are thousands of Asian pear varieties, each with its own combination of crisp juicy texture and flavor.

With unique texture and refreshing taste, these pears will satisfy the most demanding of fruit lovers, especially children.

Add to this the fact that Asian pears keep in the refrigerator ready to eat for a month or more and you will agree that this is a unique and delicious fruit.


A Brief History of the "Asian Pear"

A 19th century Japanese wood panel depicting Asian pears

A 19th century Japanese wood panel depicting Asian pears

All pears have a common ancestry from western China.

Some pears were carried westward and their shape and taste were modified into fruit like the well-known Bartlett pear.  Other pears traveled eastward to Korea and Japan. These "Asian" pears became more like an apple in shape and crisper in texture. 

For centuries in Asia these crisp pears were reserved for the nobility and wealthy.  Now Asian pears are the most popular fruit in all of Asia.

As others get to know this special fruit, the Asian pear continues to grow in popularity throughout the world.


Asian Pears Today in North America

Asian pears, imported from China, as typically sold in American supermarkets

Asian pears, imported from China, as typically sold in American supermarkets

Asian pears were introduced into California by the Chinese laborers around 1850. The trees were grown from seed and their quality varied widely.

Since the early 1900's there have been named varieties imported from China, Japan, and Korea. Additionally, there have been university programs and a few private breeders developing new varieties here in the USA.

Click here to learn more about the different Asian pear varieties grown at Virginia Gold Orchard.