Bosc pears are crisp when raw and hold their shape beautifully when cooked. They have the best example of the soft-yet-grainy texture classically associated with pears. Their brownish russet skin is easy to recognize, as is their classic pear shape.
Ripe Bosc pears will have a heady pear aroma, especially when sniffed at the stem. Ripe ones will have a bit of give as you hold them firmly in your hand – avoid pressing down with your fingers into the pear to check for ripeness, since that can bruise the fruit.
Use Bosc pears in any recipe calling for cooking pears in which you want the whole, halved, sliced, or chopped pear to hold its shape while cooking. They are also delicious raw, especially sliced into salads such as Pear Fennel Walnut Salad.
Look for Bosc pears September through April.
Looking for a different type of pear? Check out this Guide to Types of Pears.