This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The April Monthly says: " This pear is voted in the United States not fit for any month." This I think means in Philadelphia and special localities. Elsewhere it turns out not only a surely "handsome pear," but "voted" at its season about as good as any. The ballots are cast by those who know pears.
Some one near Worcester, Mass., knows how to raise them and to ripen up their painted glories. He supplies them largely to the New York market. We have them in our fruit shops, and they are sought in the holidays not only for their good and tempting looks, but because they are good eating.
Many pears suffer like ill name, which either other localities or better care present as luscious fruits. Not long since, a rural paper sat down on the Bartlett as an antiquated, out-of-date fruit, which better new kinds were driving out of culture. When they succeed in that Bartlett exodus, the pear market will be stocked. Antiquity will have a large representation. There are more Bartletts planted hereabouts than of all other kinds. You may say they are not good, that there are lots better, etc., but the masses stick to the Bartlett; and a good part of those "select" who know pears largely prefer them. I don't, but such are in my household.
Now not only some localities refuse to a pear the excellence which other soils yield, but goodness and tameness are both often due to the way you grow and the way you handle fruits. Some pears in heavy or sparse bearing cases, picked green, or ripened on the tree, always come to the front in fair and passable condition: but others you have to grow and pick and care for rightly to bring out their full merit. Of such are two of our largest and very good pears, the Clairgeau and the Vicar. I never saw a small pear of either worth a cent. I never saw a big one of either kind well ripened that was not a joy forever. I do not doubt that the Clairgeau may have its favorite climate and footings; but I know that its Worcester grown and ripened fruits, large and glowing with beauty, have richness inside of their gaudy coloring. Of the soil, of their home, or of the exact method of their growing or handling, I know nothing, but I do know that they fill the bill of a fine eating pear. Just so with the Vicar (by no means as attractive in looks as the B. Clairgeau) when you get it large, full grown, picked pretty late and well handled so as not to wilt.
It well merits what some pomologists of wide experience say, that " if they could have but one pear they would have the Vicar." Yet I have seen loads of it that were fit only for the cattle or the pigs, small, astringent, never gaining buttery flesh or tempting flavor. Now the moral of this is: Decree not banishment to the Beurre Clairgeau, till you get in all the votes.