“Nijiseiki” is also known as “Twentieth Century Asian Pear”, and it’s the first variety to get picked at Norm Lehne Garden & Orchards (Roseburg). Due to its extreme productivity, Nijisseiki is the most popular commercial variety, with a crisp and juicy flavor. Lehne’s orchard produces fruit using IPM practices.
Asian pears vary in color from golden yellow to deep bronze, and can vary in shape and size: the most commonly grown in the United States are Japanese varieties, which have a round squat shape similar to that of an apple. Less commonly grown are the Chinese varieties, which have a more traditional pear shape with bulbous bottom and elongated top, similar to that of European pears.
Prized for their crunchy texture, the creamy white flesh of the Asian pear is exceptionally juicy with a sweet low acid flavor and fragrant aroma. Unlike regular pears Asian pears are sold ripe and maintain their crisp texture long after being picked. Careful handling must be practiced when picking, packing and transporting Asian pears as their delicate skin bruises and becomes discolored easily.