What Makes a Pear an Asian Pear?

As we head into fall, let’s celebrate all the wonderful new produce making an appearance, such as the delightful Asian pear.  Asian pears are known for their crisp apple-like texture and sweet juicy floral flavor. Most varieties have a round or oval shape and stay firm even when ripe. These distinct features set them apart from more familiar “pear-shaped” European pears, which soften in texture as they mature.  

Asian pears are widely popular in many Asian countries, including China, Korea, India and Japan, and have been for centuries. The fruit was brought to California by Chinese immigrants in the 1850s and today there are many different  varieties in the USA. 

Fun Fact: In China, it’s considered bad luck for friends to share a pear, because the Chinese Mandarin words for “to share a pear” also mean “to separate”. 

Asian pears are best appreciated uncooked, as they have a high water content, compared to most fruits. The sugar is so high in Asian pears they are used to tenderize meat in Korean cuisine; there is even a ‘Pear Museum and Orchard for Tourists’ located in Naju, Korea.  

They come in various skin colors, ranging from dark bronze to yellow, to green. The skin is usually thin and may have a slight russeting or speckled appearance. Some popular varieties include, Hosui, Kosui, Chojuro, Shinseki and 20th Century.  

North Americans may be relatively late to the Asian pear party, but we’re catching up, along with New Zealand and Australia. The California Asian pear season is  peaking now, and  Northwest production is just getting started.  Just don’t miss out on this very special fragrant fall fruit! 


New & Exciting! 

Fuji Apple: New crop, California-grown Fujis are here from Ferrari Farms! 100 and 113 count both available! The new crop is freshly harvested and has never been in cold storage. Enjoy them now! 

Gold Kiwi: Coming soon! California-grown from local producer, Wild River. Extra sweet and a little tart, with a wonderfully tropical kick, these gold kiwis are sure to wow with every bite. Contrary to their green sibling, gold kiwis have smooth, fuzzless skin.    

Biodynamic Thompson Grape: (below) Thompson grapes from Marian Farms have arrived! Intensely sweet, juicy and flavorful and seedless. These grapes are hand-picked at peak ripeness and packed in environmental paper totes—which shows offMarian Thompson Grape their gorgeous color. Remember amber color indicates sugar!  Unlike many organic and conventional grapes, Marian Farms never treats their grapes with gibberellic acid to increase size. This is what makes these grapes small in berry size, but so intensely sweet! 

Hatch Chile: Bold and smoky specialty peppers from New Mexico. Spice ranges from Medium to Hot. These peppers taste amazing grilled! The season is short so don’t miss out! 

Jujube (right): Fresh and dried fruit available now! From Rock Front Ranch, a regenerative woman-owned farm in Santa Maria, California. Jujubes, also known as Red Date, or Chinese Date, are incrediblyJujube nutritious and  full of antioxidants, potassium, and flavonoids. When fresh, jujubes pack up to 20 times the vitamin C found in citrus fruits. For thousands of years in Central and South East Asia these sweet fruits have been prescribed for anxiety and insomnia and are considered an ancient superfood. 

Kiwi Berry:  Kiwi berries pack the same bright, fruity flavor as a classic green kiwifruit, but have a thin edible smooth skin. No fuzz on these adorable grape-size fruits! Perfect for kids as a healthy and unusual snack. 



Black Mission Fig: The jig is not yet up on fig season. Take advantage of plentiful supply while you can! 

Concord Grape (left): This unique flavored variety is readily available at promotable pricing from Heinke Family Farm. Quality is stellar–large berries bursting with grape jelly flavor in every bite!  

Hamburg Muscat Grape: Marian Farms reports a bigger than expected crop (hooray!) Low in acid, with dark skin, sweet taste and a perfume muscat aroma. Truly delicious and not to be missed! 

Hass Avocado: Great supply on 60 count Las Palmalitas Ranch avos from Santa Barbara, where cool coastal temperatures extend the harvest late into the fall 

Raspberry: Steady volume; tasting great!

Red Seedless Grape: Good supply on several varieties at the peak of their season. Sweet and crunchy with beautiful red color. We have many pack types to fit your grape needs—from poly bags, pouches, and totes to volume-fill cases. Ask your Account Manager for a recommendation! 



Artichoke: Pricing is still high. Volume is starting to improve. 

Baby Broccoli: Limited and prices are up. 

Blueberry: Market is tight as US grown season winds down. Supply from the Northwest is expected to go for three more weeks. Import fruit from Peru is starting to become available. 

Bok Choy & Baby Bok Choy 

Celery: Supply is tight. 



Living Butter Lettuce: Limited through September and possibly October due to production issues 

Napa Cabbage: Expected to be very limited until November. 

Red Butter Lettuce 


Valencia Orange 

Zucchini: Extremely limited locally and from Mexico.


Done for the Season 

Red Plums 

Rundle Family Farms melons 

Sweet Secret black Grape 

Bronx seedless grape in paper clamshell (only volume-fill for the rest of this year). 


Merchandising Corner 

Seasonal Changeover: Apple Displays 

Fall is approaching, and it’s time to switch from your seasonal summer displays to more fall focused items like new crop California-grown apples. Try some of these merchandising suggestions to keep your apple displays fun and eye-catching. 

  • Decorative baskets help create displays with multiple levels. This allows you to merchandise and clearly label several varieties of apples. Consider adding a small display to your larger set of the more popular new crop apples like Gala, Fuji, and Granny Smith. 
  • Cheese pairs well with apples and is easy to work into displays. Dry cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano and aged Gouda can sit out of refrigeration for short periods of time, which makes them a perfect cross-merchandising item in any display. 
  • Contrasting color breaks will draw attention to heirloom varieties and make the whole display pop. Retail signage also helps customers get to know a new or lesser-known variety. 
  • As Halloween nears, consider building a caramel apple endcap to keep apple excitement going. Merchandise with ingredients like condensed milk, wooden popsicle sticks, caramels, and Maldon salt for salted caramel apples! 
  • Cull and check daily for bruised and non-desirable fruit. The goal is to keep your displays fresh and fully stocked. 

Related Articles