Pears are one of the few fruits that don’t ripen on the tree. They’re harvested when mature but not quite ripe to eat. They ripen when left at room temperature, becoming sweeter and more succulent from the inside out.
For most varieties, you can’t judge the ripeness of a pear based on its color. Instead you should “Check the Neck.” The USA pear growers came up with this catchy phrase to remind pear lovers to gently apply pressure around the neck of the pear with your thumb. If your thumb yields to the pressure, then you’ve got yourself a nice, juicy pear. Once a pear is ripe, you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Other pear tips:
- Like apples, pears also brown once sliced. To prevent browning, dip them in a 50:50 mixture of water and lemon juice.
- Place under-ripe pears in a bowl with fruit like bananas that give off ethylene and speed up ripening.
- Wash pears thoroughly before eating in order to eliminate dirt and bacteria. Be sure to pay special attention to the pear near the stem and bottom by gently scrubbing.