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.
Size medium, 2 1/2 inches long by two and a quarter in diameter. Form - roundish obovate. Stem - long, set without depression, sometimes curved. Calyx - small, in a narrow furrowed basin, and frequently without segments. Color - pale lemon yellow, slightly marked with patches and traces of cinnamon russet, and with brownish red intermixed with distinct spots of vermillion on the sunny side. Flesh - white, buttery and melting, a little granulous near the core. Flavor - sweet, excellent. Core - rather large. Season - last of October. Quality - promises to be classed as "very good." A handsome fruit.
This fine fruit originated, in 1842, in the garden of the late Major Esperen, the well-known and successful pomologist. The first crop was a very large one, and every fruit proved of equal good quality and perfect size.
The shape of this pear seems to have undergone a great change, as it is often the case with seedling fruits, which vary in form for a certain time, till that form becomes at last fixed by artificial improvement, by grafting or by natural laws unknown to us. The shape and size of the Fondante in our drawing, is that of a fruit grown in Hon. Marsh. P. Wilder's experimental grounds. The outline is the exact size and form of one of the first fruits, taken in 1842.
Fondante De Malines Pear.
Lith by Geo. Hayward New York.
Tree vigorous and erect, of a pyramidal form ; shoots, fawn color, slightly speckled ; buds, stout, diverging, well set on a broad base, short and pointed ; joints, regular in two years, but irregular in one year's shoots ; leaves middle sized, slightly serrated, dark green.
Fruit, above medium, oblong, or obtuse-pyriform, yellow when ripe, dotted and washed with russet and dark crimson. Stem from one to one and a-quarter inch, moderately stout, inserted in a shallow cavity; eye, close, rather small, sunk in an even, not deep, calyx.
Flesh, melting, juicy, with abundance of sugar, and slightly flavored ; ripens slowly and without decay at the core, from the end of September till late in October, if kept in suitable places.
Like all the fall fruits, it ought to be plucked as soon as it has completed its growth, and allowed to go through the ripening process in a cool room, rather moist than dry. As soon, however, as the ripening commences, we always found it better to bring the fruit over to a more elevated temperature. This process develops and completes the aroma of all such pears, which are naturally flavored. This, rule applies to almost all the fall fruits, which, if not kept too long in exhibition halls, for instance,are always improved by that rather too high temperature. - L. E Berckmans.