Pears, like apples, are members of the rose family, Rosaceae. Members of this family have fleshy fruits, known in botanical circles as pomes. The major parts of the pear are the core, the hypanthium and the stalk.

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In this pear slice, the core, hypanthium and stalk are clearly visible.

Core

The pear's core is the seed-bearing ovary of the fruit. Surrounding the numerous seeds is the ovary wall. Although the ovary wall is edible, its texture is a bit thick and dry. When you core a pear, you remove both the ovary wall and the seeds.

Hypanthium

The part of the pear that you eat is the hypanthium. In pears, this structure is referred to as accessory tissue because it is not part of the actual ovary. A pear's hypanthium contains numerous stone cells with thick walls. These cells give the pear its unique, grainy texture. The skin is part of the hypanthium.

Stalk

The stalk connects the fruit to the tree and supports the leaves. This part of the fruit is not edible.

Differences with Other Fruits

With many other fruits such as lemons and peaches, the edible portion is part of the ovary or pericarp. However, with pears, the ovary is not edible.