Unlike their cousins with the tapering shape that must mature after being picked, Asian pears have a distinctive round shape and are able to be eaten right off the tree. In fact, the Asian pear more closely resembles an apple than its cousin the pear. Asian pears are crisp, juicy, and slightly sweet with some tartness, especially near the core.
The Nijisseki pear, a Japanese variety, is the most popular Asian pear in the United States. Asian pears are known for keeping well. Store pears a week at room temperature or up to three months in the refrigerator. They also provide protection from Free Radicals due to their vitamin C and copper content and promote cardiovascular and colon health. This fruit is delicious eaten raw or sliced into a salad!