D'Anjou Pear (Anjou)

There are over 3,000 known pear varieties grown around the world.

The D'Anjou pear, sometimes referred to as the Beurré d'Anjou or simply Anjou, is a short-necked cultivar of European Pear.

A cultivar is a cultivated plant that has been selected and given a unique name because of desired characteristics.

The European Pear (Pyrus communis) is a species of pear native to central and eastern Europe and southwest Asia. The European Pear is one of the most important fruits of temperate regions, it is the species from which most pear cultivars grown in Europe, North America and Australia are developed.

Major pear cultivars

In the United States, 95% of pear production came from 4 cultivars:

- 50% Williams' Bon Chrétien (England, ca. 1770; a summer pear commonly called Bartlett in the U.S. and Canada, and Williams elsewhere)
- 34% Beurre d'Anjou (France, a winter pear commonly called just d'Anjou)
- 10% Beurre Bosc (Also known as Kaiser Alexander, a winter pear commonly called just Bosc or Kaiser)
- 1% Doyenné du Comice (France, 1849; commonly called Comice pears)

8 varieties of pears, from left to right, Williams' Bon Chrétien (sold in the U.S. as Bartlett), 2 Red Bartlett varieties, d'Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, and Seckel. Image source: Wikipedia, Agyle, public domain.

In 1985s, the Bartlett pear represented 80% of U.S. pear production, which decreased to 50% in 2004, displaced by the d'Anjou and Bosc pears, both winter pears more tolerant of cold than the Bartlett.

History of D'Anjou pear

D'Anjou pear is thought to have originated in the 19th century, either in Belgium or in the vicinity of Angers in central France, previously called the Anjou province.

Anjou is a former county and province centred on the city of Angers in the lower Loire Valley of western France. Image source: Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Anjou pears are thought to have originated in Belgium but are named after the Anjou region in France. They were introduced to England in the 19th century. Called Beurré d' Anjou, they were introduced to America in 1842. The name has been shortened simply to "Anjou."

Characteristics of Anjou pear

There are two main varieties of D'Anjou pear:

- Green Anjou - pale green skin that may or may not change color to yellow as the pear ripens.

- Red Anjou - deep red skin. The first red sport of Anjou was discovered in the 1950's in Oregon.

The d'Anjou is considered a medium to large pear. It has a wide base, short stem, and thin skin with many notable lenticels, or pores, which allow the exchange of gases with the atmosphere. Green Anjou pears are recognizable for their egg-shaped appearance.

In Season: September - July. The flesh is described as "creamy white, aromatic, juicy, sweet, slightly acidic, with buttery and slightly gritty texture."

Anjou pears do not change color as they ripen, unlike Bartlett, another green pear variety whose skin color changes to yellow. Green Anjous will remain green even when fully ripe.

Anjou pears are the second-most recognizable pear variety in the United States (after Bartlett pears). It is the most abundant variety, which means you'll find green Anjou pears on produce stands in the U.S. nearly year round. Many chefs choose the Anjou pear for their menus for their nearly year-round availability.

D'Anjou pears are often less expensive than other pear varieties. In the United States, the variety represents 34% of pear production.

D'Anjou. Wikipedia.
European Pear. Wikipedia.
Anjou Pears. Pear Bureau Northwest.
Red Anjou Pears. Pear Bureau Northwest.

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