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Conference pears are long and thin with a bright green skin that is mostly covered in russet from the bottom up. They are sweet and juicy with a smooth-textured flesh. The flesh can sometimes have a slight pink tint to it.
Conference pears are available during most of the year with a peak season in the late fall and winter.
Conference pears are a variety of Pyrus communis, or European pear. It was discovered as an open pollinated seedling of a Leon Leclerc de Laval pear. Conference pears are also known as ‘Belgium pears’ in some parts of the world, so named for their country of origin.
These Belgian pears are good fresh out-of-hand as well as baked or cooked. Make sure the pears are ripe to maximize their flavor. Poach pears in simple syrup with a cinnamon stick or bake them in a tart. Add to salads or add to cheese plates as a flavorful compliment. Conference pears need time to ripen; up to 3 to 4 weeks on the counter. Store pears in the refrigerator for up to two months. Their excellent storage qualities make the sweet fruit ideal for exporting.
The mottled Conference pear is only grown in Belgium, the Netherlands and in some parts of France. They were discovered in 1884 and named for the British National Pear Conference in 1895 where the pear was first exhibited. These popular European pears can be found in England, the US and have been imported to China since 2011, after finding success in the Hong Kong and Singapore markets.
People have spotted Conference Pears using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.