Asian pears may have a lot in common with apples but they are related to pears. The fruit known as the Asian pear can refer to either one of the following:
Scientific Binomial Name: Pyrus pyrifolia
This species of Asian pear is a pear tree species native to China, Japan, and Korea. It's common names include: Asian pear, apple pear, Korean pear, Japanese pear, Taiwan pear, nashi or nashi pear, sand pear, bae, or li . In South Asia, Asian pears are known as nashipati or nashpati.
Scientific Binomial Name: Pyrus x bretschneideri
This Asian pear is a subspecies of the Chinese pear (P. pyrifolia) and it is native to northern China, where it is widely grown for its edible fruit. It's common names include: Chinese white pear and Ya pear
A good-quality Asian Pear is selected by smell rather than variations in firmness. Unlike other pears that yield to gentle pressure when ripe, Asian pears are ripe even when they are extremely firm.
Look for a fairly strong and sweet aroma (they will not smell as strong if they are cold).
Those originating from Japan have clear yellow, brown or yellow-brown skin while those from China are clear-skinned and green-yellow.
Handle with care, especially when fully ripe. Ripen in a cool, dark place. Pear may be refrigerated for a few days.
Avoid Asian pears that are soft, wrinkled, have numerous scuff marks or are obviously bruised.
Asian Pears are available July to late October from California, Washington, Oregon and Japan.
Watch for the most popular variety (20th Century or Nijisseiki) plus the Kosui and Kikusui varieties in Mid-August. The Hosui variety hits the markets in September.
Asian Pear Nutritional Information
Serving Size: 1 medium Asian Pear (122g)
Amount Per Serving
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Source: PMA's Labeling Facts
Asian Pears are low-fat, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free. They're also a great source of fiber and vitamin C.
Pear Tips & Trivia
- Asian pears are the oldest known cultivated pear.
- Asian pear trees are symbols of spring in East Asia, and is a common sight in gardens and the countryside.