Pears are a member of the rose family, and most likely originate from eastern Asia, though some believe the European Pear and Asian Pear evolved separately.

Brought over the Atlantic Ocean by European colonists, pears were one of the first fruits cultivated in the New World. Pear trees were planted 350 years ago in the Massachusetts Bay colony. The world’s largest grower of pears, however, is China, which producers 15.5 million tons of pears per year, three-quarters of the world total.

The Vineland Growers Co-Operative provides Food Services with their fresh pears from the Niagara Peninsula.

  • Bartlett
  • Clapp’s Favourite
  • Anjou
  • Bosc
  • Flemish Beauty
Pears are a good source of fibre and vitamin C, as well as potassium and folacin.
Pears are best harvested when mature, though not ripened, as they can be soft and mushy in the center is left to ripen on the tree.

Look for pears that are relatively firm, with good colouring for the variety. They should be smooth-skinned, unshrivelled, and free of blemishes.

Ripe pears spoil easily, so refrigerate immediately, and eat within a couple of days.

Store in the low-humidity drawer of your refrigerator.

Rinse gently under cool running water prior to preparing; be careful, they bruise easily.

Pears are great for eating fresh and whole as a snack, but can be used for pies, tarts, baked goods, sherbet, preserves, and with salads.

Some varieties of pears are better suited for cooking than others:

  • Bartlett pears are great for using in desserts, and preserve well.
  • Clapp’s Favourite are good for cooking and poaching.
  • Anjou pears cooks and bakes well.
  • Bosc pears work well with gently cooked dishes.
  • Flemish Beauty is good for baking.
Seasonal Availability
August to January

Nutrition per 1 pear with skin (166 g):

Nutrient Value
Calories 166
Protein 1
Carbohydrates 26 g
Total Sugar 16 g
Total Dietary Fibre 5.0 g
Calcium 15 mg
Iron 0.3 mg
Potassium 198 mg
Magnesium 12 mg
Vitamin C 7 mg

Provided by Health Canada