Pyrus communis L., better known as Rocha Pear is an exclusively Portuguese variety which is mostly produced in the western region of Portugal. At the end of the 20th century the European Union recognized this variety as a traditional quality product through its protection with the "Pêra Rocha do Oeste" Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) insignia.
Rocha Pear has been produced in the western region of Portugal for more than a century and a half and originated at Mr. Rocha’s farm in Sintra which would lend its name to the variety.
Throughout the last decades Rocha Pear was the object of a breeding program that improved the agronomic behavior of the variety without interfering in its intrinsic characteristics of flavor and texture.
Rocha Pear has smooth, yellow and/or pale greenish epidermis, sometimes presenting a slightly pinkish spot on the side exposed to the sun. The russeting is typical of this variety and is always present varying its percentage and concentration according to the climatic conditions of the year. The average size of the fruit is 60/65 mm with an average weight of 130g. The pulp is white, soft-melting, granular, sweet and non-acidic. It is also very juicy with a slightly accented perfume.
It is a fruit with high resistance to handling and transport and can be kept in cold rooms for several months. Once packaged and placed at room temperature has a shelf life of about 8 days.
In order for Rocha Pear to reach the consumer in its best quality, the harvest is carried out in optimum conditions in order to achieve the best flavor and aroma. Traditionally in the West region pears are harvested from the second week of August when the following parameters are met:
To ensure that the organoleptic characteristics are maintained until the point of sale the fruits are stored within a maximum of 24 hours after collection.