Should Pears be Peeled?

I received a box of pears for Christmas from Harry & David. I tried one yesterday and while the meat of the pear was sweet and juicy, the skin was a little tough. I’ve always eaten pears just like apples, by biting right into them. Today I’ll cut a pear into pieces and remove the skin.

Do most people peel pears?

I don’t, usually. I buy mostly Asian and anjou pears, and the skin on both is pretty thin.

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I never peel pears if I’m just eating them out of hand. I do sometimes peel them in some dessert applications (some tarts, poaching, etc).


Never ate the skin, 100% peeled.

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Generally unpeeled unless it’s going into, say, a dessert where it looks nicer peeled (as in our recent festive “compota de Nochebuena”)

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We always received H&D pears for Christmas when I was growing up and we always peeled them. Really great pears as I remember.

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H&D pears have been lousy for several years now. It could be growing conditions, but does correspond to the sale of the company. A friend sends them every Christmas and this year I finally took the company up on its quality guarantee. They replaced the pears promptly, but the new fruit was just as bad. Brown blotching on the skin, very hard. By the time they had some give at the stem, the flesh was bletted, and the flavor was very bland, with little sweetness and less juice than they used to have. Googling for H&D pear complaints reveals widespread disappointment.

I think the skin may also be tougher than it once was. My parents came from Germany. While my mother adopted the American style of eating from the hand, my father, who was in no way elegant, peeled and sliced pears and apples, and ate most fruit with a fork.

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This H&D pear? I saw them at Trader Joe’s before Christmas. And have been wondering about them.

Comice pears are think-skinned, compared to other varieties.

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that makes me sad

I peel.

Hahaha, i probably got the same or similar box! My box has the green comice pears and yeah the skin is thicker than i remember and really not tasty and tough. I sliced and peeled the rest of the one i ate yesterday after the first bite was a whollllleeee lotta skin. Yikes.
My box also included some red pears that have a very thin delicate stem and are taller with a slender neck as it were- those are fine not peeled.
I suspect H&D tinkered around for a thicker skin version so they would withstand shipping better-kinda like those cherry tomatoes in the winter with a thick tough skin. Sigh.

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This is the box of Royal Riviera pears that I got.

Our experience with some fruits is that their harvests can be like wine grapes; it’s not the same every season and some years are better than others. We’ve noticed that phenomenon with white peaches.


Use to get those yearly from an eye surgical center I referred patients to a lot. They were always great. Now I just get a bottle of wine

I think I would have preferred the wine!

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Of course, for non-drinkers, many holiday gifts end up useless. My other half does free tutoring at the library and gets gifts at Christmas from the students’ parents. This year was a bottle of sangria, a sake set, men’s cologne, and some chocolates. The only one he has any use for is the chocolates. (He has in the past gotten Starbucks gift cards, and he’s not a coffee drinker either.)

At least with fruit (other than grapefruit), you have a good chance the recipient can use it.

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That was an interesting read, thanks for posting it @BoneAppetite.

Depends on the wine

I can’t discount the effects of a sale to 1-800-flowers (that’s who owns them now I think) but it takes a long long time to build and grow an orchard. So I’d be very surprised if it is directly due to the sale. They would most certainly be from the same trees. Maybe they are harvesting earlier and forcing ripening …

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