Pears are grown throughout Idaho, but primarily in the southwest Snake River Valley. Major Idaho varieties include Bartlett, Anjou, and Bosc pears. Harvest season in Idaho is late August and September, but due to storage capabilities pears are available fresh through November.
Idaho Bartlett pears are the most common variety with the classic pear shape and golden color when ripe. Bartletts are sweet, soft, delicious, and perfect for snacking. Idaho Bosc pears have skinny necks with thick, brown skin. Bosc pears can be tricky to select because they can be soft or hard when ripe. Their flavor can be wonderful when they’re ready, or tough and tasteless when they’re not perfectly ripe. For this reason, many save Bosc pears for baking.
What To Look For: Pears are a unique fruit that ripen best off of the tree. Pears shipped and sold in grocery stores are often fully mature, but not ripe. Look for pears that are firm without bruises or spots. Pears are ripe when the skin near the stem yields to gentle pressure.
How to Store: Store at room temperature until ripe – refrigerating pears before they are ripe can lead to loss of flavor, texture and appearance. To hasten ripening, place pears in a paper bag at room temperature and check daily. Once ripe, place pears in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to three days.
- Idaho is great for growing pears because of its rich volcanic soil and mild, dry climate.
- Idaho and other Northwest states account for 98% of the U.S. pear production.
- Idaho pears are available August through September, Idhao pears come in several varieties including Bosc and Bartlett.
- One pear has 24% of your daily-recommended value of fiber and is a great source of Vitamin C and potassium.
- Pears do not ripen on the tree! You must pick the fruit and let them ripen from the inside out.