[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [nafex] Big 4 Commercial Pears

Growers sell what consumers buy and what they know they can produce 
profitably.  The Big 4 are cultivars for which production methods 
(fertilization, disease and other pest control, storage methods) have 
been worked out.  Magness may be a terrific-tasting pear, but it has 
some drawbacks, such as its polliination requirements.

Supermarkets sell what consumers are familiar with, what they can 
get, and what they know will be popular.  The Big 4 are cultivars 
that have established reputations, industry promotion, and marketing 
channels.  In some ways, they may also be the best examples of their 
types.   Some other pear cultivars are sometimes sold in supermarkets 
-- Forelle or Trout pears and Seckel, for example, and of course the 
Asian "apple" pears -- but the taste and texture differences in most 
pears may simply be not as varied as is the case with apples.  The 
availability of pears from the Southern Hemisphere when pears 
normally would be unavailable to consumers likely perpetuates the 
dominance of the Big 4, although some imported pears being sold under 
Big 4 names may actually be other cultivars.

However, the recemt consumer awareness of new and different apple 
cultivars may hint at more diversity in pears sold in supermarkets in 
the future.  Also promising are the offerings of new and imported 
cultivars by some nurseries, both wholesale and retail.

Much of the research in the U.S. and Canada has gone toward the 
development of fireblight-resistant and cold-hardy pears that can be 
grown outside the commercial growing areas.  While some 
blight-resistant and cold-hardy cultivars are good, it's petty remote 
that any will unseat the established Big 4.--Sam Brungardt, St. Paul, 

>Doreen Howard wrote:
>>  After researching heirloom pears for several weeks and interviewing 4
>>  growers of the same, I have a burning question that you experts may be able
>>  to answer.  Why are the big 4 commercial pear varieties--Bartlett, Bosc,
>>  Anjou and Comice-- a couple of centuries old?  One would think that hybrids
>>  with their improved disease resistance, etc. would have replaced these
>>  heirloom varieties.  Is it taste?  Is it lack of imagination?  Or what?
>  > Please venture forth with your opinions.
>  > Doreen Howard
>>  In Wisconsin, where it's snowing and snowing.

-------------------------- eGroups Sponsor -------------------------~-~>
It's Easy. It's Fun. Best of All, it's Free!