Probably everyone has heard of concord grapes. When you think grape juice, you think concord. But do you ever think of pears? Concorde (spelled differently than the grapes) pears orginated in England, but grow well in the northwest part of the country. The pear was created by combining the Conference pear with the Comice pear. It is said to have the best characteristics of both. The pear has a long “neck” like a Bosc and are light green in color. Some specimens may have some red/brown blush on them. Unlike Bartlett pears that tend to turn yellow as they get ripe, these Concorde stay the same color, so testing for ripeness is a little trickier. Pears ripen from the inside out, making checking for ripeness even more difficult. If it does not feel rock hard, then give it a try. Even if wasn’t soft enough for you then, just place the rest in a paper bag for a day or two.
One advantage these pears have over others is they tend to brown much slower, which makes them a good choice in cooking applications or sliced into salads.
I purchased my Concorde Pears at Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor, MI. They were grown under the Stemilt label. Stemilt Growers LLC is operated out of Wenatchee, Washington. They distribute all sorts of fruits grown in the Pacific Northwest from apples to pears to cherries as well as stone fruits. For more about them, visit their website. You can also purchase their fruit through their online business, Bountiful Fruit.
My Experience with this Pear (Rating Scale 1-10)
Overall Feeling: A very good pear. Sweet and juicy with a strong flavor. Some say this pear has a vanilla-like flavor to it, I did taste something kind of floral, but my first thought wasn’t vanilla. I will have to try another one to see if I can detect that kind of flavor.
Availability: These pears make their appearance in September and may last until around February in a good year.