Most European pears require exposure to cold temperatures after harvest followed by warm conditioning before being ready to eat. When ripe they have a soft, melting or buttery texture and often characteristically strong flavours, but tend to have short shelf-life. In contrast, Chinese and Japanese pears can be eaten from the tree and have crisp textures, but mostly mild flavours. Chinese pears used in the breeding programme have a coarser texture than Japanese pears, but superior cold storage and shelf-life performance. These new fruits combine the best traits of those three species to produce fruit that can be ready to eat at harvest without conditioning after cold storage, and which can still develop strong flavours.