Bosc pears are medium to large in size and are oblong in shape with a rounded bottom that gradually tapers to an elongated neck and a slender green-brown stem. The thick skin is golden tan and is covered in rough, brown russeting with some mottling. The ivory to off-white flesh is firm, dense, and crisp with an intense honeyed aroma and has a central, soft core encasing a few small black-brown seeds. When ripe, Bosc pears are juicy, crunchy, and have a very sweet flavor with notes of woodsy spice.
Bosc pears are available in the fall through early spring.
Bosc pears are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as broiling, baking, poaching, and drying. They can be consumed fresh, out-of-hand at room temperature or can be sliced and dipped in dark chocolate for a sweet treat. They can also be sliced for green leafy salads or displayed on cheese boards. A common misconception is that Bosc pears must be peeled or cooked before being consumed, which is neither true nor necessary. Bosc pears stand up to cooking and retain their shape, making them ideal for tarts, pies, popovers, glazing, and poaching. They can also be halved, grilled and topped with gorgonzola cheese and chopped walnuts, layered in sandwiches and on pizza, mixed into oatmeal, pureed into soup, or sliced into pancakes. Bosc pears compliment pesto, browned butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, walnut, hazelnut, mint, chocolate, gorgonzola, burrata, goat cheese, honey, red onions, butternut squash, dates, garlic, chicken, and pork. They should be kept at room temperature until ripe and will keep up to an additional week when stored in the refrigerator.