At their best, pears are super sweet, juicy and perfectly tender. (In the case of Asian pears — they’re amazingly crisp.) Fall’s and winter’s peak-season pears are delicate and grown in exacting conditions, mostly in California and the Pacific Northwest. Pears are harvested from their trees when they’re mature, but they still take some time to ripen after they’re picked.
How to Pick a Perfectly Ripe Pear
Since pears don’t always change color as they ripen, a good rule of thumb to follow is to check out the neck of the pear, near the stem. If the neck is tender, it’s likely ripe and ready to eat. If the neck is firm, let it ripen at room temperature for a few days on your kitchen counter.
Our Favorite Pear Varieties
Here are some varieties of pears that you’ll find in our stores:
How to Store and Ripen Pears
Store ripe pears in the refrigerator to slow ripening and remember to sprinkle some lemon juice on your pears after you cut them — this enhances the flavor and helps prevent the fruit from turning brown. If your pears need some love in the ripening department, place them in a brown paper bag to help speed up the ripening process (and throw a banana in the bag for extra ethylene gas that fruit naturally emits!).