What is a Concorde Pear? What does it taste like? When are they in season? Get all these questions answered about this farmer favorite pear, popular in the Pacific Northwest.
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 originated 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. Like you can see in the following picture.
Some specimens may have some red blush on them.
Different than Bartlett Pears
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. The area around the neck should have some give to it, while the thickest pears of the pear should still be very firm.
Check out our post on How to Tell if a Pear is Ripe.
If your pears aren't soft enough then just place the rest in a paper bag for a day or two, making sure to check on them each day.
Slow to Brown
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.
Whole Foods Market is where I first found ths pear.
They were grown under the Stemilt label. Stemilt Growers 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.
My Experience with this Pear
Here is what I thought of this pear (rating scale 1-10)
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.
When are Concorde Pears in Season?
These pears are harvested in September and may last in stores until around February in a good year. It was late September when I found them at the farmer's market in Portland, Oregon.
Can I Buy a Concorde Pear Tree?
If you wish to try and grow this variety yourself, I know that Cummins Nursery sells them.