Sweet winter pears come in several varieties

Bartlett pears are one of the biggest favorites of all the pears of North America, and in season they cover the branches of some of California's oldest deciduous trees.

But Bartletts are only one of the big-four favorites. The others are Anjou, Bosc, and Comice. These are winter pears and they are grown in great quantity and quality throughout the American Northwest.

It is interesting to know that the names for these three pears were originally Beurre d'Anjou, Beurre Bosc, and Doyenne du Comice, names that come from the days when pears were the favorites of the French gentry, who continually tried to outdo one another in growing bigger and juicier fruit.

Literally hundreds of varieties were developed. But the Bosc, Anjou, and Comice have lasted, and after World War II, importation from France declined as fruit trees grew and flourished in the America's Northwest.

Today pears of all winter types are available, and the Bosc, Anjou, and Comice are traditional holiday delights.

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