Inventory, 10 lbs : 0
Warren pears are medium to large fruits, averaging 7 to 10 centimeters in diameter, and have a slightly lopsided, pyriform shape with a bulbous base tapering to a short and small, rounded neck. The fruits are heavy and dense, attached to the tree by a thick and fibrous, dark-brown stem. The skin is smooth, thin, and easily punctured, showing many superficial scars, and when ripe, the surface softens, developing a slight give when pressed. The skin also bears variegated hues of green when young, ripening to earthy yellow and brown shades with a red blush when mature. Underneath the surface, the ivory flesh is smooth, tender, aqueous, and melting, without the typical grittiness found in common pear varieties, and contains a thin, central core. Warren pears are subtly aromatic and have a sweet and floral flavor with honeyed notes of vanilla, spice, guava, and pineapple.
Warren pears are available in the late summer through mid-winter.
Warren pears, botanically classified as Pyrus communis, are a rare, American variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The floral fruits were discovered in the Southern United States in the late 20th century, and as rumors swirled around the pear’s true origins, Warren pears quickly gained notoriety as a popular, fresh eating cultivar. Warren pears are highly favored for their soft, juicy texture and complex taste and are especially loved by chefs and pear enthusiasts. Despite their flavorful reputation, Warren pears are not commercially cultivated as each tree takes over five years to bear fruit, significantly delaying production. Warren pears are also deemed challenging to grow due to specific pollination requirements, localizing the variety to specialty orchards as a rare, gourmet cultivar.
Warren pears are a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation and contain potassium to balance fluid levels, copper to promote bone growth, and vitamin K to assist in faster wound healing. The fruits also provide fiber to stimulate the digestive tract and folate to develop the body's genetic material.
Warren pears are best suited for fresh applications as their soft and juicy flesh is showcased when consumed straight, out-of-hand. The pears can be eaten similarly to an apple with the skin on, discarding the core, or it can be sliced and displayed with other fruits on appetizer plates. Warren pears can also be cut for green and fruit salads, blended into smoothies, juiced to flavor cocktails, or used as a topping over oatmeal, ice cream, and pancakes. In addition to fresh preparations, Warren pears can be baked, simmered, or poached. The fruits can be utilized in tarts, pies, cakes, crumbles, and muffins or cooked into jams, jellies, and sauces. Warren pears can also be poached in wine or simple syrup and used for compotes. Warren pears compliment cheeses such as blue, cheddar, manchego, and gouda, nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans, fresh herbs including basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme, salted and cured pork, spices such as anise, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, dried fruits such as cherries, cranberries and figs, chocolate, quince, caramel, and honey. Whole, unwashed Warren pears will keep up to five days when stored at room temperature and for two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
Warren pears were once nicknamed the Post Office pear because they were rumored to have been discovered by Thomas Warren growing naturally outside of a post office in Mississippi. Later on, as the variety was established and the rumor was deemed inaccurate, Thomas Warren changed the name of the variety to Warren pear, after his last name. In the modern-day, Warren pears are considered one of the most flavorful American pear cultivars. The variety has been praised by famous chefs, including Alice Waters, and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart for their complex, floral and fruity taste.
The history of Warren pears is filled with mystery, rumors, and a touch of whimsy. The first written record of the variety was featured in Pomona Magazine in 1986, claiming that Thomas O. Warren had discovered the Warren pear growing on a tree in a friend’s backyard in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1976. Once the article was released, Warren began to tell a new story of how he found the fruit on a tree beside a post office and USDA soil conservation service office. This rumor remained the primary origin story for quite some time, and many growers in the present-day still retell this story as the pear’s true origins. At some point in the late 20th century, Warren was questioned about the validity of his post office discovery, leading Warren to change the story once again, saying he found the fruits at an old test site of Mississippi State University, where the pear variety magness was once planted. Magness pears were developed from the same cross as Warren pears, the American giant seckel pear and the European comice pear, leading many experts to believe the two pears were the same. Oregon State University eventually disproved this theory, deeming the two cultivars similar, sharing the same parents, but genetically different. Today Warren pears are available in limited quantities through specialty orchards across the United States. The Warren pears featured in the photograph above were grown at Frog Hollow Farm, located in Brentwood, Northern California.
Recipes that include Warren Pears. One is easiest, three is harder.