Morettini or Italian pears are ripe in mid to late January in Nelson. They are pale green with a red blush, ripening to golden. They are buttery, sweet and juicy (butirra means butter). It is hard to keep the hungry starlings away! "Morettini Precoce" (meaning precocious or early) is a hybrid pear from 1956. It is a cross between William bon chrétien (aka Bartlett) and a small Italian pear (Coscia).