Buyers like Concorde
It's one of the few pears that can be eaten right from the tree.
The future of the Concorde pear seems uncertain, despite the good characteristics of the fruit. Growers who have Concorde rank the variety among their favorites and like the returns they've been getting.
Rudy Prey, who operates an orchard and fruit stand at Peshastin, Washington, said the Concorde pear becomes sweet, juicy, and flavorful while still on the tree and appeals to consumers who don't like their pears mushy but don't want them green or tasteless either. Most of his pears are organic, and Prey said returns for his Concordes were good the last couple of seasons. Organic buyers are much more in tune with flavor, and where the pears come from, and how they are grown, he said.
However, after a serious fireblight infection hit his orchard this year, Prey put aside any thoughts of planting more. If he replants a six-acre Concorde block, he doesn't know yet what he'll replace it with.
He's not sure he needs more Bartletts, and d'Anjous take too long to come into production. He tried growing Taylor's Gold, but the fruit was ugly and didn't russet, and the trees didn't produce well. He grafted those over to Concorde, which he now fears was a step in the wrong direction. Comice is among his favorite pears, though it can't be eaten without ripening.
Gerald Green of Tonasket, Washington, who's had to remove his Concorde block this year because of fireblight, is thinking of replanting with d'Anjou pears.
Steve Terry, chief executive officer at Chelan Fresh Marketing, believes Concorde could have a bright future from a marketing standpoint, as it's one of the few pears that can be eaten right from the tree. "I think it's just a question of getting that pear out to the public—do demos and get some people actually consuming and eating that pear," he said.