Common name for several varities of firm pears you can eat as soon as you harvest. (Pyrus pyrifolia (Burm. f.) Nak. (syn. Pyrus serotina L.)). AKA apple pear or pear-apple (fruit is often apple-shaped instead of pyriform), Chinese pear, Nashi pear, Oriental pears. Probably the first domesticated pear. All the varities have in common a light sweetness, juiciness, and a crunchiness (mmmm, fiber). You know it's ripe by its aroma, not its firmness (if it's soft, there's something wrong with it). When you bite into one, you'll get juice all over the place. If you don't want to wait around for a European pear to ripen, get yourself some asian pears, available late summer through fall. They will keep for 2-3 months in your refrigerator without spoiling.

While grown commercially in Japan, China, and Korea, and brought to California during the Gold Rush, United States production took off in the 1980s as a growing Asian population on the West coast increased demand. 5000 acres are grown mainly in California (Fresno, Tulare, Kern, Placer, and Sacramento counties), Oregon (Hood River and Willamette Valley), Washington (Yakima and Wenatchee). There are new plantings in New Zealand, Australia, Chile, France, and the eastern and southeastern United States.

Color varies from yellow to brown, and may include speckles. Popular varities include Hosui, Kosui, Shinseiki, Shinsui, Kikusui, Chojuro, Tsu Li, Shinko, Shin Li, Yali, Twentieth Century (AKA Nijiseiki).

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