Flair with the Pear!

Our Pear Panache program recognizes top chefs from around the country for their innovative flair with pears! Try our award-winning chefs' featured recipes in your own kitchen!

Printer Friendly Version

  PhotoBack to Varieties
Comice
(Co-meece)

Comice are the sweetest and juiciest of all varieties of pears, and are a favorite in holiday gift boxes and baskets. Their flesh is very soft, and can best be described as creamy in texture, abundantly full of juice, and very sweet. For many pear lovers, Comice are the pinnacle of pears. Learn more about Comice Pears in the sections below:

IDENTIFYING A COMICE
Comice appear in all sizes, but their shape is unique among varieties; having a rotund body with a very short, well-defined neck. They are most often green in color, and sometimes have a red blush covering small to large areas of the skin surface. However, some newer strains are almost entirely red in color. The succulent Comice can grow to be very large, and the jumbo sized beauties are often the ones that appear in gift boxes. Comice, however, come in all sizes and all are exceptionally juicy and sweet.
[back to top]

RIPENING COMICE
Any area of green color on the skin of Comice may take on a slight yellow hue as the fruit ripens, however color is not the best determination for ripeness. Check Comice by applying gentle thumb pressure near the stem end, and when the fruit gives slightly, it is ready to eat. Because Comice have very fragile skins, the pears may appear to be bruised on the surface, but more often than not this does not indicate damage on the juicy interiors. Take special care in handling the fruit even before it is ripe. Bruising may not be apparent right away, but can show their signs as the fruit ripens. Like all pears, ripen Comice at room temperature in a paper bag or fruit ripening bowl. Learn more about ripening pears.
[back to top]

THE CHRISTMAS PEAR
Although pears of all types have a popular association with the winter holidays, Comice have earned special recognition as the "Christmas Pear." They are often the stars in holiday gift baskets and boxes, purchased in grocery store produce departments. Many stores feature Comice during the holiday season, but don't limit yourself of this special variety to just holidays. Comice are available now more than ever...
[back to top]

WHERE TO FIND COMICE
You can find Northwest Comice Pears in many grocery store produce departments for several months of the year... And Comice are no longer limited in availability to just the months leading up to the winter holiday season. Now, because of expanded demand and increased production in Oregon and Washington, Comice can be purchased from September through March. Look for Northwest Comice pears in the fresh fruit section where you buy produce.
[back to top]

COMICE WITH CHEESE
No Better Combination!
The sweet buttery flesh of Comice can find no better compliment than when served with cheese, especially soft ripening cheeses like Brie, Camembert, or any of the blues. It is the extreme juiciness of Comice, which coincidentally makes them a poor choice for any process requiring cooking, that earns them such high accolades for eating freshly sliced. Ripen a Comice pear, section it and serve with your favorite cheese. Comice aficionados know this combination well... others have yet to realize what they've been missing!
[back to top]

HISTORY OF COMICE
Known properly as Doyenné Du Comice, this French variety of pear was first propagated near Angers in the mid-1800's. The first red sports were discovered in the 1900's near Medford, Oregon. A "sport" is a naturally occurring transformation that develops occasionally on fruit trees. Often they are unnoticed, and even when discovered, the resulting fruit is not always commercially viable. The first red sport of Comice, discovered in 1960, presented a somewhat striped pattern. A full-red sport was discovered about 10 year's later, also in the Medford area.
[back to top]

QUESTIONS?
Have a question about Comice not answered here? Or another question you would like answered? Send us an e-mail; we respond to every message received.
[back to top]

 

  Images and content Copyright ©1996-2008 Pear Bureau Northwest, All rights reserved.
Pear Bureau Northwest Privacy Disclosure Statement