Carmen is an Italian pear variety that ripens 20-25 days earlier than the common pears. As explained by Marco Castagnoli of the Italian research institute CRA, its origins date back to 1980 when it was obtained as a breed between Guyot x Bella di Giugno. In 1989, a seedling was selected by Rivalta (Italy) and then evaluated as ISF FO 80-18-69.
In 2000, after getting excellent results in different Italian areas of production of pears, an European patent werw requested under the name of “Carmen”. The patent was issued in 2006, its number is EU17843.
Carmen is following a tradition by the breeders in choosing famous opera’s names (as Tosca, Norma, Turandot, Aida, Boheme) to give a name to new fruit varieties.
The tree has average vigour and is compatible to be grafted on quinces. “Production recorded in our experimental fields in the period 2000-2011 was 20% higher the Williams pears one”, Marco Castagnoli says.
Blossoming period is medium-late (same time than Williams). The best pollinating pear varieties are Williams, Conference, Coscia.
Fruit’s size is medium-large (190 gr). It is very attractive, shaped like a Kaiser pear, with a yellow and red peel (the red colour covering around a 25% of the surface).The texture of the flesh is fine, juicy, aromatic.
In the Italian region Emilia Romagna, it is harvested in the first half of July (about 20-25 days earlier than Williams pears).
“Carmen is very different from the traditional pear cultivars all over the world. Its harvest period is the same as that of the Coscia pears, but the fruit is very different from the latter because Carmen pears are bigger and they taste differently too. Carmen pears are slightly acidulous while Coscia pears are sweet”, Marco explains.
Since 2002 the number of young trees sold in Italy has been increasing, reaching up to 1,500,000. It is the most sold new variety.
Apart from Italy, Carmen is being successfully cultivated in Spain, Chile, New Zealand. The variety has been patented in and it is now spreading over Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Croatia, European Union, Israel, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine and Uruguay.
Courtesy of FRESH PLAZA