The elegantly shaped Concorde (pronounced KON-kord) is best identified by its exceptionally long neck that tapers to an almost pointed top, with a stem that is also long and oftentimes curved. It has a round bottom, and its yellow-green skin oftentimes features a golden russet on some or all of the pear. Much like the more common Bosc pear, the Concorde has a dense flesh that is sweet and juicy even when it is still firm. It doesn’t have to soften to be sweet!
The size of the Pacific Northwest Concorde pear crop is increasing season after season due to its growing popularity. Harvest for Concorde pears begins in the fall, and the season lasts until the variety is sold out, which typically occurs in December. Be sure to get the Concorde pear while you can!
The Concorde is a pear that can be enjoyed at various stages of the ripening process. If the preference is for a slightly more crisp texture, Concorde pears can be eaten almost immediately upon purchase. As Concordes ripen they become slightly softer and more mellow in flavor. They show only slight color change as they ripen. The best indication of ripeness is to Check the Neck™ by applying gentle thumb pressure near the stem, which will yield slightly when the pear is ripe. Concordes, like all pears, ripen at room temperature. For best results, place them in a beautiful fruit ripening bowl on the dining room table or kitchen counter.
The Concorde is an excellent all-purpose pear. Eat it fresh out of hand, slice it into salads, subject them to heated applications such as roasting, grilling, poaching, or sautéing. The more dense flesh of the Concorde make them ideal as a cooking pear as they hold shape and flavor even when cooked at high heat. Plus, they are naturally slow to oxidize, or turn brown, after being cut, so they are amazing in salads and for sharing the spotlight on cheese boards.
The History of Concorde
The Concorde pear is a happy marriage between the Conference and Comice pear varieties. The Conference pear is popular in Europe, which originated in England in the late 1800’s and shows resemblance in elongated shape and russeted skin to the Bosc pear. The Comice pear is well known in the U.S. for its abundant juice, creamy texture, and sweetness. Combining the best of both sides of the family pear tree, the Concorde carries the beautiful shape and crisp texture of the Conference, which gives it an elongated neck and firm, dense flesh. Its flavor is vanilla-sweet, reminiscent of the supple sweetness of Comice pears. Its skin is green, sometimes with golden brown russeting.