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Bosc (pronounced BAHsk) pears stand out in a crowd for many reasons. Their long, curved stem and elegant elongated neck that widens gradually to a full rounded base creates a silhouette that is unique among pears. Bosc are also unique for their color: a warm cinnamon brown with russeting over the surface of the skin.
Russeting is a natural appearance for Bosc. The russeting may cover the entire surface of the pear or it may just be seen over a small portion of the skin. In either case, the quality of the fruit is not affected. In fact, many artists feature the russeted Bosc pear in their paintings, drawings, and photography because of the natural beauty it imparts.
Bosc pears are a very popular variety and when they are in season they can be found in most grocery stores. Look for them in the produce section starting in late September. During the fall and winter months, they are often part of a large display of many different varieties. Harvest for Bosc pears begins in the fall in Oregon and Washington, and they are in season from late September through April.
Bosc pears are sweeter and more flavorful earlier in the ripening process than other pear varieties. As a result, the complex flavor, honey-sweetness, and juiciness of Bosc can be enjoyed before their flesh has fully softened.Since the flesh density of Bosc is greater than other pears, it's important to take this into consideration when determining when Bosc pears are ripe. The Check the Neck™ test, where gentle thumb pressure is applied near the stem end, is still the best method for checking Bosc for ripeness. However, keep in mind that Bosc will "give" less than other pears when they are ready. Sometimes, Bosc will also show a slight wrinkling at the base of the stem as well as a minimal color change as they ripen-- a green hue under the russeted skin will turn more yellow. However, color change is not as reliable as Checking the Neck™.Ripen Bosc pears as you would any other variety: leave them at room temperature and only refrigerate after the pears have ripened.
Bosc pears have a more firm, dense flesh than other pear varieties, so they are ideal for use in baking, broiling or poaching. They retain their shape and texture better than other varieties, and their flavor is less likely to be overwhelmed by the use of strong spices like cinnamon, clove or nutmeg. Of course, they are also excellent for fresh eating, particularly by those who prefer a firm texture.
5064 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, PA
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Seth H. Richards
Locally owned and Family Operated Since 1932.
Dr. John Richards established Richards Tree Farm in Middle Smithfield, PA as an evergreen farm. Building on those roots, his Great Grandson, Seth Hastings Richards, has grown the farm into a full service Garden Center and Landscape installation business for the past 25 years. The farm specializes in Organic Gardening, Edible, Native, and Unique plants.