Imperial Comice are often thought of as the royalty of the pear family due to their relative rarity and rich juiciness. Their flesh is very soft, and can best be described as creamy in texture, abundantly full of juice, and very sweet. Comice appear in all sizes, but their shape is unique among varieties, having a rotund body with a very short, well-defined neck. Because Comice have extremely fragile skins, the pears may appear to be bruised on the surface, but more often than not this does not indicate damage to the juicy interiors. Like most pears, Comice taste better when peeled. Pair with soft ripening cheeses like Brie, Camembert, or any of the blues.
Storage & Handling: Because pears ripen from the inside out, ripe fruit will "give" slightly to gentle pressure near the stem. Waiting until they soften around the middle may indicate over-ripeness. Store unripe pears in a warm place outside of the refrigerator (in a fruit bowl or paper bag). Check daily for ripeness. Once ripened, (and not until then) store pears in the coldest part of the refrigerator but don't freeze! Due to juiciness, they are best in salads and eaten out-of-hand rather than baked. For the same reason, these fruits bruise easily. Organic produce should not be stored with non-organic produce.