This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Last season, I took a different method, and from the first to the middle of December, they were in eating, and a truly delicious pear they are. It has given me especial pleasure to introduce them among our "coterie," who pronounce them excellent, more than good, - fine to best. My trees were excessively loaded; fruit very uniform in size, which was good. The picking was deferred as late as prudence would permit. They were then carefully taken from the trees, and spread upon a blanket in a c6ld north room, kept dark. Each layer was again similarly covered, until all were so disposed of. Then they went through the sweating process, and began to get a creamy, yellow tinge, - when such as were wanted for use were put into a pine closet kept near to the kitchen stove. Our cook keeps up an intolerable heat from early morn till night, and this lucky incidence has given a maturation to the Vicar before to me unknown. A week to ten or twelve days in this temperature fully ripens them. They color beautifully; many have a beautiful dash, or carmine cheek.
They are no longer the coarse, gritty, astringent fruit, as ripened in a cool medium, - but melting, buttery, with a delightful aroma, and a much superior pear to the Glout Morceau in its best state.
No pear has given me so much concern as this. Its fine, strong, elegant growth, and universal bearing, has given us a large stock of fruit annually, for which there was but little demand, and that for cooking only. Now, with my new management and the cooks aid, we shall have no further trouble with the Vicar of Winkfield.