Other names: Red d'Anjou Pear, Beurr� d'Anjou
Availability: Jan-Jun, Oct-Dec
Source: California, Oregon
General Information: Red Anjou pears are much like their Green Anjou counterparts in all respects other than color. Their shape, flavor and texture are virtually identical. It's their deep, rich, maroon color that sets this variety apart, particularly as a showy pear among pears in a fruit bowl or basket. Red Anjous are recognizable for their near egg-shaped appearance; having a large spherical lower potion that begins a gradual and even taper above the mid-point to a smaller, rounded top. The color of Red Anjous varies from pear to pear, however they are generally dark, maroon red in color.
Red Anjous, like all pears, ripen when held at room temperature. For best results, place them in a closed paper bag or fruit ripening bowl. Depending on their level of ripeness when purchased, it may take several days before they are ready to eat. The results, however, are well worth the wait. Red Anjous develop a mild, sweet flavor with very smooth texture and abundant juices when ripe.
The best indication of ripeness for any pear is the thumb test: gentle thumb pressure near the stem will yield slightly when the pear is ripe.
History: The original and proper name for the variety is Beurr� d'Anjou, supposed to have originated in the vicinity of Angers, France. Thomas Rivers, who was an author and pomologist, introduced it to England in the 19th century. It was introduced to America by Col. Marshall P. Wilder, Boston, about 1842, and first fruited on his estate in 1845. Beurr� is the French word for butter, or buttery. The small d in front of Anjou means "of" or "from" Hence, a buttery pear from Anjou or Angiers. Red Anjous originated as naturally occurring bud sports found on Green Anjou trees. "Bud sports" are transformations that occur on trees, and they are most often unnoticed. Even when they are discovered, they usually don't lead to any new commercially viable fruit. Red Anjous, however, are an exception. Actually, they are an exception that occurred twice, as the first red sport of Anjou was discovered in the early 1950's near Medford, Oregon, and a second red sport was discovered in the late 1970's in Parkdale, Oregon