Anjou: Oval shaped, somewhat stubby with smooth yellow-green skin and creamy flesh with a slightly blander taste. Good for cooking and eating.
Bartlett: Most popular. Large and juicy. Best for eating.
Bosc: A firm, crunchy pear. Long, tapering neck and rough, reddish brown skin. Great for baking and poaching.
Comice: Sweetest and the most flavorful. Dessert pear. It has a squat shape and a dull green skin that may show light blemishes and discolorations.
Seckel: Seckel is the smallest pear variety and very sweet. Good for snacking.
Winter Nellis: A squat shape, dull green skin, and firm flesh. Excellent for baking.
Clapp: Clapp is a juicy, sweet pear with green-yellow blushed skin.
Forelle: Small, bell-shaped pears, with golden yellow skin and freckles that turn bright red during ripening.
Asian pears: look like large, greenish-brown apples. Crisp and have less of a pear flavor.
Peak August through October.
Choose unblemished, firm, well-colored pears. Ripe pears will give to gentle pressure near the stem. Do not purchase pears that are soft at the bottom, shriveled at the stem end, have nicks, or soft spots.
Handle gently. Ripen in a cool place. Refrigerate for a few days. Never store pears in a plastic bag.