Image of Bartlett Pear

Depending on where you live, this pear could be called either a Williams or Bartlett pear. It was first known as Stair's pear after the English schoolmaster who first discovered it in 1765.

Scientific Binomial Name: Pyrus spp.


Eaten fresh or in salads, canned, baked or poached.


Also called Stair's, Williams or Packham Pear, a good-quality Bartlett pear will be medium-sized or larger with no bruises and only a few minor scuff marks.

The coloring will be light-green to completely yellow. Bartlett pears are ripe when they turn completely yellow and give off a sweet aroma. This pear bruises easily when ripe.


Avoid Bartletts with soft spots or scars that are more than skin-deep.

Totally yellow Bartletts are likely to be mushy.


Unripe pears may be stored in the refrigerator for long periods and still ripen correctly. Ripen in a cool, dark place.

Handle with care, especially when fully ripe. Once ripe, pears may be refrigerated for a few days.


Bartlett pears are one of the easiest pears to recognize when ripe - they are ready to eat when more yellow than green.

You can speed ripening by placing a ripe banana in a sealed plastic bag with your pears.

Pears are ripe when they yield slightly to gentle pressure at the stem end and the skin has a slight waxy feel.

  • Nutritional Information
  • Bartlett Pears are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They're also a good source of Vitamin C, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber.

  • Tips & Trivia
  • Ripen pears at room temperature in a sealed plastic bag with a couple of ripe bananas. When the pear is ripe, refrigerate until you are ready to eat it.

    Pears are cousins of apples. American varieties come from Europe, where they migrated from central Asia.

    In The Odyssey, the Greek poet Homer calls pears a "gift of the gods."

    Early colonists brought the first trees to America where they thrived until blights became severe. Most pears are now grown west of the Rockies where diseases are less of a problem.

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