Perry is a traditional drink made from fermented pear juice, and in recent years has enjoyed a resurgence in interest, along with its cousin cider. Perry is now sometimes called pear cider and although this is incorrect, the term seems to have made it more accessible to consumers.
As with cider apples, perry pears are used specifically for the qualities of their juice and cannot be eaten.
Perry pears are closely related to mainstream pears, and will cross-polinate with them, and both are classified in the species Pyrus communis. However it is likely that perry pears are a distinct sub-species.
If grown on seedling rootstocks perry pears can be very long-lived, as well as growing to a considerable height and spread.
Perry production has a very long history in England, but has tended to be less widespread than cider production, and until recently the vast majority of perry orchards were to be found in a small area of western England, mainly in Gloucestershire. Perry pears are also grown in the traditional French cider growing areas, but the French drink is produced in a different way to English perry.