How to Tell if a Pear is Ripe

What is a Pear?

A pear is a popular fruit that believe it or not is a member of the rose family of plants. Most fruits grown on either trees or shrubs, but the pear is unique because it grows on both.

The pear is also unique because unlike most fruits which grow in warmer climates, pears actually grow in cold climates. The pear is native to Western Europe and Northern Africa, but today, pears are grown mostly in China and the United States.

The pear is also unique because there are numerous varieties of pears, with the most popular being Bartlett, Bosc, Asian, and Anjou.

Pears can be eaten fresh but they are also frequently eaten after being canned, dried, turned to juice, or turned into jellies and jams.

The baked pear is a popular pear dessert.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 medium pear
Calories 102
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 27 g9%
Sugar 17 g
Fiber 6 g24%
Protein 1 g2%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 2 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Nutritional Benefits of Pears

Like all fruits, pears are very healthy and have numerous nutritional benefits.

All types of pears are excellent sources of dietary fiber and Vitamin C. Pears also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Pears have been shown to decrease the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

The pear is easily digestible and therefore, often suggested as the first fruit that parents introduce to infants. Additionally, the pear is considered a "hypo-allergic" or low allergy food.

In Ancient Greece, pears were used to fight nausea, but using the pear as a natural remedy for nausea has fallen out of fashion.

Source

How to Tell if a Pear is Ripe

Most fruits ripen while growing on a tree or shrub, but once again, the pear is unique and does not successfully ripen while growing. Instead, they just become mealy and unpleasant. Therefore, pears are picked when they have reached their full size but are still unripe.

Due to pears odd ripening process, when you purchase pears from the grocery store, often they have still not ripened. Therefore, it is even more important to know how to determine whether a pear is ripe or not. In order to do this, you must look to the pear's appearance, feel, and scent.

Appearance

The first step in evaluating whether a pear is ripe is to look at its appearance. Pears ripen from the inside out, so you cannot always judge whether a pear is ripe by just looking at its skin. However, when trying to determine whether a pear is ripe, you should look for a yellow color at the base of the pear. Yellowness on the skin at the base of the pear is a good indication that the pear is ripe.

Feel

The next step in determining whether a pear is ripe is to feel the pear. When a pear is ripe, it is soft to the touch. Apply medium pressure to the pear near its stem, if the pear gives slightly, it is ripe and ready to eat.

Scent

The final step in evaluating whether a pear is ripe is to smell it. A ripe pear will smell sweet. Therefore, i when you smell the pear it has a sweet aroma, it is likely ripe.

How to Ripen Pears

As you have already learned, pears ripen after they are picked and therefore, you will often find yourself purchasing unripe pears in the store. Odds are, you want to eat your pears as soon as possible after buying them and will want to know how to ripen pears.

Here are three tips for how to ripen pears:

  • Pears should be ripened at room temperature.
  • If you place a pear in a brown paper bag, it will be ripen in a couple of days.
  • If you store pears in a fruit bowl with bananas, they will ripen quicker than if stored on their own.

How to Store Ripe Pears

Once you have ripe pears, you want to know how to store them to keep them the longest. First, ripe pears should be stored in the refrigerator. Cold pears are tastier and juicier. Furthermore, a ripe pear will stay good for two to three days in the refrigerator.

© 2013 Maya Frances

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