Rocha is a small to medium-sized round pear with pale green to pale yellow skin, often with attractive speckled, but smooth, russetting. It is sweet and fragrant with white-yellow flesh and can be eaten either crisp or as it softens. Rocha has become one of the most consistently available pears during the European season as a result of good eating quality and it’s storage capabilities.
This is an ideal pear for school lunch boxes due to it’s size and texture.
Origin: Rocha has traditionally been restricted to a unique, small area of Portugal, north of Lisbon: region of Oeste. The variety was probably a chance seedling, discovered in 1836 by Mr. Pedro António Rocha on his farm in the region of Sintra. The variety was not much known outside Portugal until the mid-1990’s when, through various marketing campaigns and a shortage of European pears, it became established in European markets. The pear is now grown in a wider area than Oeste, but is still very much synonymous with Portugal.
The pear now has the status of Protected Designation of Origin “Pêra Rocha do Oeste”. This status is managed by the Association of Growers of Rocha Pear (Associação Nacional de Produtores de Pêra Rocha).
Attempts to grow Pêra Rocha in other regions have not been particularly successful as it has proved difficult to reproduce the pear’s unique flavour characteristics. However, imports from Argentina are becoming more common in the European summer months.
Grown in: Portugal, Argentina
Harvest & Availability: Harvested in Portugal from mid August to early September.
End August to April: from Portugal
May to June: from Argentina
www.perarocha.pt – site by Associação Nacional de Produtores de Pêra Rocha