Unknown Japanese Pear

October 25th, 2009 | Fruit Maven

If you like jumbotrons, monster trucks and supersizing your meal deal, then this is the fruit for you!
APPEARANCE Rating: ★★☆☆☆

This pear is humongous. It would take three grown men to eat it in a sitting. Just ridiculous for a pear. Yellowish green skin and brown speckling with white flesh.

AROMA Rating: ★★☆☆☆

None

TEXTURE Rating: ★★½☆☆

Crunchy, airy, slightly gritty, like munching on fine sandpaper only not so weird

TASTE Rating: ★★★★☆

Mildly spicy vanilla sweetness

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Who would have guessed that this swollen ball of gritty neutrality would taste great? This pear is just a whole lot of fun with a spicy vanilla flavor upon first bite, fading almost immediately with no aftertaste. It made me want to keep biting in to it to get that first initial zing. Yum.

FRUIT

Asian Pear

VARIETY

Unknown (Seuri?)

PEAK

Unknown

ORIGIN

Japan (China?)

GROWN

Fresno, CA

PURCHASED

Farmer’s Market

NOTES

The following names all appear to be fairly interchangeable.  It is the variety that differentiates –  asian pear, nashi or nashi pear, African pear, Japanese pear, Korean pear, Taiwan pear, sand pear, apple pear, bapple, papple, bae li. So who knows what this one is. Let the following conversation illustrate the problem.

Me at farmer’s market: Oh wow – what is this?
Purveyor: It’s an asian pear
Me: Oh – so is that different from this? (pointing to the yellow brown asian pear that I have seen in grocery stores)
Him: um. {blink blink} Well. Yes. That is an asian pear and so is this.
Me: I see. So is this a special kind of Asian Pear?
Him: Yes, exactly. This is a Japanese pear.
Me: Oh cool – so its from Japan. So it is a Japanese Asian Pear then?
Purveyor: Well, its actually from Fresno. But yes it is a Japanese Pear. That Asian Pear over there is actually from Japan.
Me: But the one from Japan is not a Japanese Pear?
Him: No. This one is the Japanese Pear.
Me: Gosh thanks. That just clears it right up!

Updated 12/17
I sent the photos and description of this pear to a new friend at Kingsburg Orchards. After some asking around, she let me know that their best guess is that this is a Seuri Pear. From that and the descriptions here and here, I think they might be right. The only problem is that the Seuri is of Chinese origin and the purveyor was adamant this is Japanese, but I’m going to go ahead and trust the five generations of cumulative pear knowledge at Kingsburg Orchards on this one.

3 Comments

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  • Rose Arbuckle Oct 25, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Ca.Rare Fruit Growers have two groups in your area.Members bring fruit to their meetings for tasting. Little Sigon, in Orange Co. have most of the fruit you want to taste There is an ABC market chain that sells many of them also. Don’t buy frozen mangosteens, they are not good.
    Rose Arbuckle, CRFG So Bay, Chair

  • Fruit Maven Oct 26, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Thanks Rose. Looks like the San Diego chapter meets this week. Looking forward to it.

  • Guy Ames Sep 2, 2013 at 8:38 am

    What you described sure sounds a LOT more like Shin-Li (a Chinese type bred by U Calif, Davis), especially the size, shape (lumpy, nondescript), and vanilla flavor (I might add a “hint of ginger” to the flavor description–very refreshing). I’ve grown it for years, but it’s too fireblight susceptible here, but, wow, great flavor.

    Seuri is a Japanese type, but doesn’t fit your description, at least when grown here in Arkansaw.

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