Comice Pears from France
The Queen Mother of Pears
These large fruits are sought for both their sweetness and aroma. The species originated in Angiers, France, and are usually harvested in late October, then allowed to ripen to their sweetest in November.
TASTING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR
These pears are large, with squat, bulbous bases and tapered, rounded necks. Their yellow-green skin is smooth, taut, and delicate, and it bruises easily. Occasionally, these pears will have a bright red blush to them. Underneath the surface, the flesh is white to ivory, soft, and finer-grained than most other winter pear varieties. These are some of the most aromatic of pears, and have a juicy, tender, butter-melting quality to them. When ripe, they develop a sweet and subtly tangy flavor with delightful notes of vanilla and cinnamon.
PREPARATION OR PAIRINGS
Comice pears are typically eaten raw, both to showcase their sweet flavor and because their tenderness makes them break apart easily when cooked or baked. They’re lovely both as part of a cheese tray — especially one with blue cheeses, goat cheese, and Brie de Meaux—and as toppings over breakfast foods like oatmeal and pancakes. They’re excellent with pecans, walnuts, and a drizzle of honey. One popular way to cook and use them is to poach them first.
Because of their tenderness, Comice pears are delicate to cook or bake. One popular way to prepare them, though, is to poach them and serve them with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Try a traditional French clafoutis or a crisp, crescent-shaped rugelach. They are lovely when blended in a granita with honey and green tea. For cocktail lovers, do make yourselves a spiced pear mojito!
ALL IN THE NAME
Comice pears are formally called Doyenne du Comice in France. Doyenne basically means “Queen Mother” and Comice comes from “comice agricole” meaning “agricultural show”. Putting that together, you get “best-in-show” or, more classically, Queen of the Hop. It’s fitting for this pear’s reputation. However, there is a second way that this pear’s French name is spelled: Doyenné du Comice. A Doyenné is a deanery, the residence of the head of a church or university. Spelled this way, the pear’s name means “Dean of the Show”. Which way do you prefer it?
DISCLAIMER ON AVAILABILITY OF PRE-ORDERED AIR-FLOWN PRODUCE
This is a pre-ordered item at The Bow Tie Duck and will only be available while the producer from overseas is able to supply and allow air-flown delivery. Because this item is subject to seasonal availability, we require a total minimum quantity of 5kg to be able to ship. If the minimum is not met by our cut-off date, we will have to delay the entire shipment. In case of delivery delays, delivery cancellations, “out of stock” notices, or “out of season” notices after purchase, you will be contacted by our Support Team. You will receive a refund or product replacement, or you can choose a new delivery date for your item. In choosing to place an order, you agree to the terms and have read that this particular product is not on-hand. After a short wait, you will receive your orders fresh from the source.
Comice pears are great pears for long-term storage. Store them in the coolest part of the refrigerator, at about ‑1°C, but not much colder or it will damage the fruit. This post-picking chill time can last up to 2 weeks. If you’d like them to ripen faster, leave them out on the counter for up to a week. Once you can feel the narrowest part give a little under your finger, your pear is ripe. If you’re not ready to eat all your pears at this point, put them back in the fridge and they’ll last another 3 to 5 days.