Forelle pears are available summer through the following winter and sometimes into spring. The Forelle pear, of the European family, Pyrus communis,is a bi-colored variety whose name, when translated in the pear’s native origins of Germany, means “trout”. Forelle pears are a petit, bell shaped pear with yellow skin that is dotted with crimson red freckles (known as lenticles) signaling the pears’ maturity. Younger Forelle pears will be green while the red coloring is always present. Only ripe Forelle pears will possess qualities that highlight the pears best virtues. Ripe Forelle pears are fragrant, their flesh, crisp and firm yet juicy, with flavors bright and candy sweet. The Forelle pear’s size doesn’t make it a choice fruit for large recipes such as pies, and their flavors are truly best showcased in fresh eating form. They are a perfect lunchbox snack, great as an accompaniment in winter salads and can easily be used as a fresh garnish for savory soups. Forelle pears are a great companion ingredient to aged cheeses such as gorgonzola, camembert, gouda, and manchego, pork belly, prosciutto, dried berries, figs and nuts such as hazelnuts and pistachios. The pear’s sweetness is the perfect compliment to semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate. Consider using the Forelle pear as a chocolate fondue item. Forelle pears should never be refrigerated as they will only ripen at room temperature. The Forelle pear was a chance seedling first cultivated in Saxony, Germany in 1670. The Forelle pear is among only two dozen cultivars of European pears that are cultivated worldwide. The European pears require winter chilling to produce fruit. Without frost generally trees will not produce crops. The Forelle was introduced into America by German immigrants in the 1800’s. It is grown in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington. Forelle pears are picked when they are mature but not fully ripened. Fully ripened tree fruit will most likely drop from the tree, never making it to successful harvest.