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Talgar pears are medium to large, elongated fruits that have an asymmetrical, curved shape with a bulbous base tapering slightly to a rounded neck. The skin is semi-smooth, shiny, covered in lenticels, and is green-yellow when ripe, displaying red-pink patches and spots from exposure to the sun. Underneath the surface, the flesh is crisp, aqueous, granular, and cream-colored to ivory, encasing a central core filled with small, black-brown seeds. Talgar pears, when ripe, are mild with a light and sweet flavor.
Talgar pears are available in the late summer through winter.
Talgar pears, botanically classified as Pyrus communis, are an elongated, slender variety that belongs to the Rosaceae family. Also known as Talgar Beauty pears, Talgar pears were developed in Kazakhstan and were named after a town in the region of Almaty. Talgar pears were created to have improved tolerance to frost and resistance to disease, and are a popular autumn variety in Central Asia, Russia, and Ukraine. The pears are also valued for their unique, elongated shape, crunchy texture, and sweet flavor, commonly consumed as a dessert variety.
Talgar pears are a good source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help protect the immune system against external aggressors, and fiber, which can help increase digestion. The pears also contain some calcium, copper, vitamin K, and potassium.
Talgar pears are best suited for raw applications as their crunchy, sweet flesh is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The pears can be eaten with the skin on, or they can be sliced and layered over cheese and bread, tossed into green salads, topped over ice cream, or mixed into fruit bowls. They can also be sliced and stirred into stews, boiled and served over yogurt or porridge, cooked into jams, or blended into juices. Talgar pears pair well with nuts such as pecans, almonds, and walnuts, red onions, cucumbers, fruits such as cranberries, apples, and grapes, vanilla, honey, cheeses such as gruyere and gorgonzola, and meats such as pork, sausage, and smoked fish. The fresh pears will ripen at room temperature and can then be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
In Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Research Institute for Fruit Growing and Viticulture is one of the top centers for fruit variety development. Formed by the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), which is an organization that originally started as a program to employ former weapons scientists to give them a safe place to continue to create science-based technology, the ISTC began branching out and forming new research sites such as the Kazakh Institute. The Kazakh Research Institute became an established site for research and project studies to streamline agricultural methods and improve fruit varieties. The institute has studied and created over fifty-nine new varieties of fruit, including berries, grapes, apples, stone fruit, and pears such as the Talgar.
Talgar pears were created at the Kazakh Research Institute for Fruit Growing and Viticulture in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In the late 1950s, breeder A. N. Katseiko used free pollination techniques to develop the Talgar cultivar, and it took over thirty years for the variety to pass state trials and be acknowledged as a new pear. When released in 1991, Talgar pears were listed in the State Plant Variety Register, and today the variety is primarily cultivated in Kazakhstan, Russia, Moldova, and Ukraine.