E-mail this story
Bartlett pears: How to choose, store and prepare
We make a lot of fuss over heirloom peach varieties that date back to the 1960s and tomatoes that go back as far as the 1930s. But did you know that the Bartlett pear, that standard grocery store fruit, actually dates back to the 1770s? The Bartlett, called the Williams pear in England where it was first found, gets its name from Enoch Bartlett, who was the first person to sell the trees in the U.S. in the early 1800s. "Barts" are the predominate pear grown in California, and there are two different growing sites with very different fruit. The earliest pears will start being harvested in August around the Sacramento delta area. They are fine, but the ones picked a couple of weeks later from the hilly orchards of Lake and Mendocino counties are much better.