Bartlett pears are the only pears that change color when they’re ripe. Eat them out of hand like an apple, slice them onto a salad, or present on a platter with cheese & nuts. Poach them in fruit juice, or bake them into tarts, quick breads, or muffins.
In 17th century England, a schoolmaster named John Stair sold some pear tree cuttings to a grower named Williams, who quite narcissistically named the variety after himself. The Williams Pear became a staple variety, and when brought to the New World at the end of the 18th century, one Enoch Bartlett of Massachusetts planted it on his farm. Mr. Bartlett named it after himself and, from then on, throughout the United States, the Williams Pear became known as the Bartlett Pear.
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