The Agricultural Research Council celebrated ten years of the Cheeky® pear this May. Cheeky®, a mid-season beautiful red blushed pear variety, is the brightest star to come out of the ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij pear breeding programme in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Cheeky® acts as bridge between the season-opening blushed pears like ‘Rosemarie’, ‘Flamingo’ and ‘Celina’ and the later ‘Forelle’. It is harvested around week 4 and 5 and due to its characteristic large fruit size and marketability prior to ‘Forelle’ it is generally setting good prices for this category.

A star amongst pear consumers

By nature, Cheeky® fruit are large with an attractive blush and ripen during late January to the beginning of February. Cheeky® also has a rich pear flavour, stores well and ripens to a melting texture, but the colour is not as prone to heat bleaching as that of other blush cultivars.

After storage, the background green colour changes to a bright yellow, enhancing the blush colour to a very attractive, striking bright red. The fruit of the Cheeky® tree look stunning and tastes excellent, making it a star amongst pear consumers.

Cheeky® pear

ARC is blazing new paths in cultivar innovation

Did you know that the Cheeky® box even showcases the trifoliate leaves of the taaibos shrub? A lovely reference to the ARC breeder, Mr Taaibos Human.

Worldwide the breeding of new pear cultivars is extremely difficult, but the Agricultural Research Council is continuing with its good record of generating blush cultivars for the South African fruit industry. – Press release, ARC

For more information on Cheeky®, contact Mr Human at email HumanT@arc.agric.za