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The First Of The California Bartlett Pears

The first of the locally grown California Bartletts have arrived at Earl’s!  The first Bartletts are coming out of the Sacramento and Stockton River Delta region where the hot days and the cool nights are needed to develop the Bartletts sweet, juicy and delicious flavor.  In August we will start seeing California Bartletts from the Lake County and Mendocino growing district.  California pears are very delicate and are all hand-picked and packed.  In our opinion, we at Earl’s feel that California Bartletts are some of the best pears in the world. 

Pears are picked green but not ripe. They ripen from the inside out and have a fragrant aroma, but how do you know when your pear is ripe?  One way is to check the color. The deep green skin will soften to a golden hue.   Touch is another way.  Apply gentle pressure to the neck or stem area of the pear and it will give slightly when it is ready to eat.  The best way of all is to spend time getting to know your pear. Buy a few pears and experiment with cutting them up at different times. You will get to know the exact color and feel of your pear when it is perfectly ripe. Timing is everything!

California Bartlett

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said “There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.”

As a guideline you want to let pears ripen on your counter for a day or two. You can refrigerate ripe pears for 3-5 days, but they are best eaten right away.  Bartletts are great for eating out of hand but they also hold up well when baked or poached. If a pear is soft at the store that means it is overripe and most likely will be brown when you cut it open. Don’t buy soft pears!

Did you know that the Bartlett pear got its start in 17th Century England, originally known as the Williams pear before crossing the Atlantic with the early American colonists? Nurseryman Enoch Bartlett of Massachusetts, unaware of the pear’s true name, began distributing the variety under his own name in 1812 and it quickly became America’s favorite. By 1849, Bartlett pear trees had arrived in California, brought West by prospectors eager to strike it rich in the Gold Rush. (www.calpear.com)

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