Seckels are deep green in color (some say olive green) usually with a bit of red blush. They'll ripen nicely if kept out of the refrigerator (from the middle, like all pears) - you can tell they're ready if the area around the stem gives slightly if very gently pressed.
We featured these pears here a few years ago, but here's a few more reasons why you should try Seckel pears:
• great for lunch and bento boxes
• perfect served whole or cut in half for a cheese platter
• Seckels can be canned whole - so pretty!
• slice in half and place cut side down for pear upside down cake or pear tart tartin
• poached whole, they would look (and taste) amazing ringing a roast pork or chicken
• Martha Stewart has a recipe for Sugared Seckel Pears
• this Maple Butter Baked Seckel Pear recipe sounds good, too
(Images: Dana Velden)