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.
It is now generally conceded, I believe, that the pear world does "move." Seeing is believing, so far as it goes; eating, is proof positive. - Delicious winter pears are raised; hot merely as "tasters," by the half-dozen or so, but' by the bushel; and preserved, too, in good condition, for months. But, as scepticism on this subject is not wholly removed from the public mind, and as the subject is one of some importance, additional evidence in the matter may not be - deemed unworthy of record.
On the evening of the 22d of February last, a few horticultural friends of the worthy Ex-President of our Society - Alfred Smith, Esq. - met him, by appointment, at his residence, to witness some of the results of his judicious experiments in raising and keeping winter pears. He placed before us a superb collection of the three following varieties: Beurre d'Aremberg, Winter Nelis, and Glout Morceau. They were truly beautiful to the sight, and delicious to the taste, and were not only well developed in color, but also in form, having, apparently, lost but little, if any, of their original fulness of outline.
In answer to the very natural inquiry which immediately arises, as to the cause of such success, I submit the following brief rule, in Mr. Smith's own words: "Pick late, and keep cool".
His practice is to allow bis pears to remain on the trees much longer than had generally been supposed advisable.*
His Winter Nelis were gathered until the 20th of November, 1855 - Bearre d'Arembarg and Glout Morcean on the 10th of. November,†
The fruit is, of course, very carefully handled in picking, and then put into baskets and boxes, and placed in a cool room, over a shed, which can be well ventilated and well closed at proper times. When winter has evidently "set in,"‡ the pears are all carefully examined, and put into boxes,§ say one or two tiers in a box, and removed to a room on the first floor of the dwelling-house, in the northwest corner, adjoining a hall which is always moderately warm. The temperature of this fhrit-room, for the present winter, has been about 40° - the average a-trifie less.
These pears have gradually ripened, and become in good eating condition - a few every day - for a period of three months. None of them were brought out* to ripen, into a room of a wanner temperature. Mr. Smith's opinion is that the B. d'A. does not need such treatment, although he admits that the Winter Nelis and Glbut Morcean might be somewhat improved by it.
One word about another pear, the Beurre Diel Mr. S. grows this both on pear and quince. The difference, in his opinion, in the quality of the fruit, is not very great. Those on quince are, perhaps, more melting, and of somewhat better flavor; those on pear closer-grained, and later keepers. Some few of his Beurre Diels were preserved through January; in fact, the very last one Was eaten on the tenth day of February!