The Hessle is an old English dessert variety of pear. The first information dates back to 1827, however it is thought to be much older. It originated from the village of Hessle near Hull, East Yorkshire. It hit its high point in popularity in the North of England and Scotland, and used to be widely grown and appreciated for its reliable crops everywhere; it travelled well and was sold to fruit markets and jam factories. With the passing of time, it reigned supreme as the pear of choice for discerning palates.
The Hessle is recognized as a hardy variety, suitable for cooler regions, that can be enjoyed throughout October. It is a small to medium sized fruit with round conical shape. Its smooth skin is greenish-yellow covered with brown dots. The flesh is white and juicy. Its flavour is quite sweet and mildly flavoured, though the Hessle is not meant to be eaten raw. It is a cooking pear, perfect for jams and cakes. It is said to have been an ingredient in one of the traditional cakes of the region where it comes from, known as spice cake.
The Hessle didn’t remain a popular commercial pear variety, so now it can only be found at local markets and specialised orchards.