We grow some varieties of Perry Pear. These pears are the pear equivalent of cider. For various reasons they have traditionally been grown in the Three Counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
There are over 100 varieties of these inedible pears, or rather inedible compared to the fine quality of the eating pears we have today, that can can roughly categorised into sweet, medium sharp, bittersweet & bittersharp. Perry Pears and pears in general come in all sorts of shapes, sizes & shades.
We have become used to the ‘pyriform’ shape of the Conference or Concorde pear with its swollen base and tapering neck to the stalk end. However pears can be oval, elliptical, conical, rouind and any shapes between these. These shapes, sizes, their colours, ripening times and other factors such as stalk length, foliage all help in identifying an unnamed pear.
Last Saturday I went to a Pear identification event at the home of the National Perry Pear Collection at Hartpury near Gloucester. Identification was done through using a variety of reference books and comparing to the 80+ Perry pear varieties on show (pictured). Nothing like being able to match againest another comparable fruit! A very enjoyable event, a first of its kind.