Clara Frijs: Best Pear You’ve Never Eaten
I’m an equal opportunity fruit eater. Whether the fruit grows on a tree, vine, bush, or wee plant, chances are, I will like it. And one of the joys of having some land and a penchant to plant, is that I can try out uncommon fruit varieties that may offer up a little something different or unique in look, growth habit and flavor palate.
My latest sweetie-pie of the plate and orchard is a pear from Denmark: Comtesse Clara Frijs. A tip of the hat to the Danes, for this is a succulent, crisp summer pear that drips with a honey-flavored juice that is light and inviting, and leaving you wanting more. (Oh Tom, you do go on.) Seriously, this is a pear that captures the giving crunch of a Asian pear with the rich flavors of a European pear. And not to poo-poo our local favorite, but the Clara Frijs pear outshines and out-delivers the Bartlett pear in the areas of texture, taste and storability.
Here’s a description from Fedco Trees:
Comptesse Clara Frijs Pear Late Summer. Denmark, 19th c. Very old delectable dessert pear, first described in 1858 by JA Bentzien in the Danish garden journal Dansk Haugetidende and thought to be from the village of Skensved. Medium-sized yellowy-green oblong obovate-pyriform rather thick-skinned fruit sometimes with a very slight pink blush—like a spot of rouge. The buttery aromatic flesh is firm but not crisp with no grit cells. Juicy but not dripping. You can eat it in the car. You can eat it right down to nothing. Keeps for a month. Solid rugged hardy tree. Z4. ME Grown.
When I shared my spartan first crop of Clara Frijs, taste-testing friends cooed and gushed, and asked for more. If you’re looking for a summer pear, that is an early variety that ripens readily off the tree, Clara Frijs is your new best friend.
Why I like the Clara Frijs Pear
- exceptionally good-eating
- firm to crisp
- minimal core (can eat everything but the stem)
- light honey flavor
- small to medium size
- handsome tree
- pest-free (at least here)
I’d been harboring this sweet pear tree in a pot for several years. Not sure what my problem was, but I just couldn’t seem to get it planted. Lucky for me, it endured and didn’t hold a grudge once planted. Within in two years, Clara Frijs was a welcomed and fruiting presence in the orchard.