Opinions on oriental pears

My apologies if this has been asked before, but I didn’t see anything similar already. My GF likes oriental pears, but I have never been a fan of any purchased from a store. Is this simply another case of tasteless/unripe commercial varieties flogged off on the uneducated palates of consumers as with much of the fruit sold in supermarkets? Are homegrown varieties of oriental pears vastly superior to what you get in most chain stores, or is that just the norm for these type of pears.

Do these type of pears get considerably softer and sweeter if they are matured fully on the tree in a home orchard?

I don’t particularly like the super crisp texture of the store bought oriental pears. Are there other varieties of oriental pears that get softer and sweeter than the normal store bought varieties. I wouldn’t mind adding an oriental tree to make my GF happy, but I’d also like it to be a variety I’d enjoy a bit more as well.

I assume other European pear varieties will pollinate an oriental as long as their bloom times overlap, but I’m not sure on that. I have a half dozen varieties of Euro pears that some bloom earlier than others (so I hope I’m good). I live in the Gulf Islands in southern BC, Canada. It has a very warm micro climate (for Canada) rated at 9b. However it is very damp much of the year. Are there any particular varieties of oriental pear that would meet my criteria of being softer and sweeter than the store bought varieties that would be suitable for my climate?

Any info in this regard would be appreciated.

They stay hard like apples, but the home version will taste much better.


you probably have a similar climate to the seattle area which is what this pamphlet is aimed at. they list hamese, shinseiki, kosui, mishirasu, chojuro, atago as being somewhat proven but I’d be surprised if any asian pears did poorly, I don’t think they have as much variation in adaptability as things like stone fruit

“Fruit Handbook for Western Washington” EB0937

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That is an awesome pamphlet you linked. Thank you both for your comments.

Turnbull giant. Lots of flavor crisp and juicy


Google old threads using Asian Pears.

I figured this was kind of more of a subjective topic, not exactly the type of info that is readily searchable. I was looking for opinions on the taste/texture of home grown varieties vs store bought.

Recommended varieties to plant for the PNW is pretty easily found, and I’ve seen all that info before. I was hoping for a a little more information in the way of growers experiences with the flavor and textures of the homegrown fruit as I’ve never found any in stores to my liking.I was hoping someone might be able to recommend a variety that is less crisp than the store varieties as I prefer a little softer.

Have you read old thread in this forum like @Auburn suggested?

Like this one. Asian pears: eating and growing. Experiences and thoughts, please - #28 by galinas.

My experience is that when you let Asian pears hang until they were very ripe, their texture will become soft, not buttery soft and smooth like good Euro pear, though.

However, one main reason many people like Asian pears because of their texture, the crunchiness. Asking for soft, sweet Asian pears is quite like to asking for sweet but crunchy peaches. Definitely not the norm.


My apologies, I did not see that thread although I did read others that didn’t really cover what I was wanting to know.

As I mentioned, my girlfriend likes store bought Asian pears although I have never found any Asian varieties in a store that I’ve really liked.

Thank you for this. That was the info I was looking for. I was hoping that if the fruit was left to mature on the tree it would become sweeter and softer like many other varieties of homegrown fruit. That way both of us could enjoy the oriental versions. I will definitely pick up a tree to make the girlfriend happy in that case.

I don’t know what varieties are good in your area but we have several members in PNW. Their recommendations are probably more relevant to you.

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I will say that I have had many disappointing Asian pears from supermarkets and even farmers markets. The crispness is usually there, but the flavor is often lacking to me, which I generally attribute to it not being fully ripened when picked, stored too long, etc. I do like them if they are good and I have had some that were pretty good over the years, but more often than not they were not great.

But last year was the first time I harvested one of my own, a Mishirasu, picked at what I thought was just the right time and it was so much better than any Asian pear I had before. It was sweet with a lot more flavor and depth than anything I’d had from a store or market. Unfortunately, the brood X cicadas decimated the tree this year, so I’ve pruned it back to just a 3-foot trunk in hopes that it will regrow enough wood to fruit next year. It was painful to see branches broken and browning with pears on them!


Hosui is often recommended for PNW, and I saw on the thread you linked that it is a little bit softer than some other varieties. So that may be a good one to try as it sounds more like what I was hoping for.

Hosui is also very sweet. Your girlfriend can pick them a week or two before you do. She will know when they ripen because the taste goes from starchy (unripe) to sweet. You will need to wait several more days.

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I can wait.

Sweet :smile:

The texture is what is great about Asian pears. They do maintain a crisp texture for a long time. They are a good change of pace from euro pears. If you want a soft buttery texture choose a good euro. There are many good euro pears.

When you want pear flavor but prefer a snappier texture there are also many good Asians. Like most fruit, home grown will taste better. They will have more flavor and you can really pick them at peak ripeness.

I find it pretty difficult to find a good Asian Pear in a supermarket. They are typically bland and tasteless. Euros on the other hand are often very good from a store or farmers market. At least that is what I’ve found. Maybe it has something to do with how well euro pears ripen off the tree.

I’m probably different from most people but the best Asian Pear I ever eaten trump’s the best euro I’ve ever eaten. I would bet money that more people are opposite that.

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This has been my experience as well. That is why I was hoping to hear from home growers that the flavour was much improved from a homegrown. The texture I was hoping would soften if left to ripen a little longer, but I really wasn’t sure. Sweeter is better in most cases, so I’m sure a homegrown Asian pear will be a big improvement on what I’ve experienced from any store.

I will not buy plums from a store as they are flavorless and gross IMO. I love my homegrown plums.

I developed a taste for Asian pears when I used to shop Chinatown in Toronto in the 90’s.
It was a bit of a dice roll but I often got beautifully tasty and crisp ones.
Eventually, it got harder and harder to get ones with flavour so I’ve planted one of my own. ( I also needed an additional pear pollinator since it turns out the Luscious is bad at it. Happily, they seem to be a successful triad now)
The Chojuro was the best recommended I could get and the couple I’ve had so far seem very promising.

It is true that the crispy, juicy texture is a chunk of the point with them, so I don’t really see that you will have much luck avoiding that aspect.
Best I can suggest is just grow them for her and grow yourself some of the melting euro pears.


I went to one of my local nurseries to look over their stock on hand today. I was a little stunned to see in amongst their oriental pears a tree that appeared to be a kosui with a small round fruit on it labeled as “Resue pear” which is a Euro pear. The serrated leaves and round fruit were a dead giveaway that it was a really bad mislabeling job. I did tell the staff.

I don’t know what nursery their stock originates from, but I believe they came from the US. I just had the only tree of theirs I planted this spring die off as the root system was butchered when it was potted. So as you might guess I never purchased a tree there today.

Hi guys, I’m going to give my opinion on Asian pears.
I like them for several reasons:

  • Its crunchy texture
  • Its long conservation period
  • The taste

In some varieties I find them lacking in flavor and sweetness

I like these varieties among others

  • Chojuro
  • Kosui
  • Yoinashi
  • Shinko
  • Nijisseiki
  • Mishirazu

I hate to death, the Koreant Giant variety (huge fruits in size but tasteless and not very sweet)

I love the hybrid varieties, between Asian pear and European pear, since the European variety gives it a lot of fragrance, flavor and sweetness.

Among others these varieties:

  • Benita Rafzas (General Leclerc x Hosui)


  • New World (Bartlett x Korean Giant)

Both they have fructified in my orchard, and they are both fantastic

The hybrid varieties of Prevar

  • Reddy Robin
  • Maxie
    etc … (hehehehehehee)

They they have not fructified in my orchard, and I cannot give an objective opinion on them.



Opinion is subjective :grin:.
What you like and grow well in your area may not do well in areas where climate is different from yours.

Don’t be too fast in trashing Korean Giant. KG are excellent where I am while Shinko, not so much.