JAPAN GOLDEN RUSSET
The 1880s and 1890s revealed the brilliance of Japanese pomology to Americans. The multitude of splendid persimmons, the plums, and even pears impressed American orchardists, despite the deep bias against “hard pears.” Because the Japan Golden Russet did not cater to the American Sweet tooth, and made tartness and juiciness its virtues, it was viewed as a niche product. The Japan Golden Russet, a yellowish flat ended pear with the shape of an apple, stunned growers because it could produce fruit in the second year after planting. It was prolific, disease resistant, and elegant to the eye.
Image: "U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705"
David S. Shields