Probably the most popular of all the pear varieties is the Williams pear. They are the first pear of the season and have arrived a little later than usual this year, but are now in full swing.
Some growers tend to pick earlier than they should to catch the big money but what is coming through now is solid mature fruit. They need to be softish and to have started going yellow to be ready to eat. In this heat and humidity a green pear will ripen very quickly, within a day or two. Once the ripening process commences the fruit can progress rapidly to overripe and it is best to store them in the fridge once they get the yellow tinge.
This year’s fruit is running small for two reasons, firstly it just didn’t rain enough down there. My farm manager often says to me, Dave, you know how to fix all our problems don’t you, just add water!
The second thing I am hearing is that there were issues with both the thinning and pruning that have had an adverse effect on the size of the fruit. So expect bargains with small fruit, and be prepared to pay more for the premium large fruit.