Saturday, 15 September 2007

Flemish Beauty Pears

Flemish Beauty PearsAs you can see, these are beauties indeed, with smooth green skins flushed with red and a classic pear shape. The flesh is very white and fairly dense, with a typical stoney pear texture. I found the flavour fairly insipid, although sweet and pleasant enough. The vendor assured us that these would sit out and keep quite well, and such was the case.

This is apparently the hardiest of Ontario pear trees - pear trees are not in general as hardy as apples - and OMAFRA describe it as very productive and vigorous, although susceptible to scale, scab and fire blight, and the trees may be short lived. Unlike most pears, it's also fairly self-fertile, although it will do better with another mid-season blooming variety nearby. Apparently the timing for picking them must be precise, or they do not reach their full potential. It's possible the ones we had were picked a tad early. They kept well enough on the counter that none of them went bad in the week and a half it took to eat them all. They did get softer and sweeter, but continued somewhat bland, and I found the skins quite tough as well. Not a bad pear overall, but not the best.

The OMAFRA site also mentions "breakdown" which I assume is the same problem I have always known as "going sleepy". Pears, unlike apples, cannot be stored for long, so unless you can or dry them they are a fleeting autumn pleasure. (They can be frozen if cooked.) When they go bad, they tend to do so from the core, leaving a good looking pear that proves to be full of brownish mush. That's why I always cut my pears in quarters to eat them, instead of munching them out of hand.


igm said...

Those pears you've got have a way to go. Once they begin to yellow and the skin develops brownish speckling, they are ready to be eaten. The flesh is sweet as honey, soft, and dense, but the skins do toughen some and acquire a gritty texture.

sysop said...

I have a dwarf Flemish Beauty that just started producing a couple of years ago, and have had absolutely AWFUL pear scab, to the point where the entire crop was affected -- the fruits all had serious russeting and cracks that developed into huge fissures. One year I sprayed it early enough with fungicide and saved a lot of the fruit but tese still had a lot of soft spots from the disease. Now I am grafting other varieties onto the tree to at least get some good fruit from it.

Unknown said...

I have just got a shipment in of these Flemish Beauty pears. I love them one of the best I have ever eaten and the students at our school are liking them nice size for a snack as well. atractive to the eye and that is a good seller to kids!!