Starkrimson (pronounced star-KRIM-son) pears are named for their brilliant crimson red color and feature a thick, stocky stem. The Starkrimson is a mild, sweet pear with a subtle floral aroma. It is very juicy when ripe and has a pleasant, smooth texture, making it perfect for snacking, salads, or any fresh use that shows off the brilliance of its skin. Just like Red Anjou and Red Bartlett, Starkrimson pears are often simply labeled as Red Pears in the grocery store.
The Starkrimson is a summer pear, meaning that harvest begins in August and it’s one of the first varieties to be found in markets at the start of pear season. It’s in season from August through November.
The Starkrimson is one of the few pears whose skin changes color as it ripens. Its color turns from deep crimson to bright crimson red, and its skin also becomes more thin and delicate. Its floral aroma and sweet juice develops during the ripening process, so a bit of patience will allow you to coax out this pear’s flavor potential. Remember to ripen all pears at room temperature, and only refrigerate pears to slow the ripening process once the pear is ripe and ready to eat.
Pear connoisseurs select the Starkrimson for any fresh use that shows off the vivid color of its skin. Slice them fresh into salads, bowls of cereal, or to accompany charcuterie for an indescribably gorgeous pop of color.
The History of Starkrimson
Named for its brilliant crimson color, the Starkrimson is a beautiful red pear that originally occurred as a “sport”, or a spontaneous mutation. It was discovered in Missouri as a branch of red pears growing on a tree of Clapp’s Favorite (a green pear, not produced commercially in the Northwest). The discovery was made in the early 1950’s.
In 1956, this beautiful red pear was patented and propagated by Stark Brothers Nursery, hence the name Starkrimson. Because it takes roughly six to eight years for a young pear tree to bear any notable volume, it was a few years before the variety caught on. Now more orchards in Washington and Oregon are bearing this variety in abundance, and the Starkrimson has become more common in produce markets across North America and around the world.