Nashi Pear

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Nashi is also another spelling for the Nakhi people, a Nationality of China.
Nashi pear
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Rosales
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Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Maloideae
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Genus: Pyrus
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Species: P. pyrifolia
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Binomial name
Pyrus pyrifolia
(Burm.) Nak.
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A Nashi pear tree in bloom

The Nashi pear, Pyrus pyrifolia, is sometimes called the Asian pear . It has also been called Japanese pear or Taiwan Pear, as well as sand pear, apple pear, bapple, papple, and bae, from the Korean 배. In India is it called nashipati. Nashi pears are widely grown for their sweet fruit, a popular food in East Asia. They are sweet on the tree and are eaten crisp or else bletted.

Nashi pears generally are not baked in pies or made into jams because they have a high water content and a crisp, grainy texture, very different from the buttery European varieties. Also, Nashi pears are not as intensely sweet, having a more refreshing, light taste.

Nashi pear flowers are white with five petals; they flower around April in the northern hemisphere. They are a popular symbol of spring in East Asia, and are a common sight in gardens or the countryside with the pink or slightly purplish flowers of peach or plum trees.

See also the similar Chinese White Pear (Pyrus ×bretschneideri), grown mostly in China.


In Japan, Nashi pears are harvested in Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tottori, Fukushima, Tochigi, Nagano, and other prefectures, except Okinawa. Nashi may be used as an autumn kigo, or "season word", in writing haiku. Nashi no hana (pear flower) is also used as a kigo of spring.

In China, Nashi pears have been considered a popular and sacred fruit. Many popular sayings have come from the Nashi pear.

In Korea, Nashi pears are grown and consumed in great quantity. Many are exported to the U.S. and sold as gifts, touting the superior quality of pears grown on the peninsula versus those grown in generally Southern California. Imported pears tend to be quite large and very fragrant, and are carefully wrapped, allowing them to last several weeks or more in a cold, dry place, such as a garage.

Because of their relatively high price and the large size of the fruit of cultivars, Nashi pears tend to be served to guests or given as gifts, or eaten together in a family context.

In cooking, ground Nashi pears are used in vinegar or soy sauce-based sauces as a sweetener, instead of sugar. They are also used when marinating meat, especially beef.

In Taiwan, Nashi pears harvested in Japan have become luxurious presents since 1997 and their consumption has jumped.


Cultivars are classified in two groups. Akanashi ('red nashi') have brownish-yellow rinds. Most cultivars belong to it. Aonashi ('green nashi') have yellow-green rinds. It has few cultivars, Nijisseiki is only famous as an Aonashi cultivar. Nashi pears are usually cultivars of Yamanashi. Yamanashi are wild Nashi pears whose fruits are inedible because they are small, hard and sour.

Important Japanese cultivars of Nashi pear include:

  • 'Kosui' (Japan, 1959; the most important cultivar in Japan)
  • 'Hosui' (Japan, 1972)
  • 'Nijisseiki' (Japan, 1898; name means "20th century", also spelled 'Nijusseiki')
  • 'Niitaka' (Japan, 1927)
  • 'Shinko' (Japan, 1941)
  • 'Chojuro' (Japan, 1893?)
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