So how do you quickly ripen the fruit so you can enjoy it?
How Do You Know When Pears are Ripe?
There are many varieties of pears, and most of them grow in cooler temperatures. Some of the most well-known pears are the red Anjou, Bartlett, Seckel, Crimson, Comice, Concorde and Asian types.
The variety that most people are familiar with however is a sandy brown to greenish color that’s generally grown in mass quantities and sold in grocery stores. This variety is known as the Bosc pear. Many stores also carry the Concorde pear which is usually light green in color.
Because pears ripen after being picked, it’s very uncommon that they will already be ripe at the store. So your store bought pears will generally be firm and not quite yet ready for eating.
So how can you tell when pears are ripe and ready to eat? There are a couple ways you can tell the ripeness of the pears, these are:
1. Gently Squeeze the Pear to See If It’s Ripe
Like most fruits, the squeeze test can be used for pears. To determine ripeness, use your thumb to gently but firmly press on the fruit. If it yields to the pressure from your thumb or feels soft to the touch then that means the fruit is ripe and ready for consumption. If it’s still hard, then it needs to be ripened.
2. Look at the Pear’s Skin Color
Color can also be used as an indicator of ripeness. Some varieties of pear will change color once they are ripe. For instance, a Bartlett pear will change from green to yellow when it is ready to be eaten. Unfortunately, however, the color test cannot be used for all varieties, as some such as the Bosc do not change color so vividly.
3. Smell the Pear
Another common fruit ripening test, the smell test, doesn’t really work well for pears because most varieties do not have strong smells as tropical fruits do.
You Might Like: How to Ripen Mangoes Quickly
How to Ripen Pears Quickly: 2 Best Methods to Use
Ripe pears are very enjoyable as they are sweet and juicy. They can be used for many purposes including fruit salads, juices and smoothies.
To ripen pears faster, you can use one or more of the methods detailed below.
1. Ripen Pears by Placing Them in Warm or Room Temperature
The ideal ripening temperature for pears is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. By simply keeping the fruit in a location that’s within or closest to this range, you will optimize the natural ripening process.
Research indicates that Bartlett Pears ripen in four to five days, while the common Bosc and Comice Pears need five to seven days to reach peak ripeness.
Grouping your pears will also speed up the process as the ethylene produced by each will help the others.
2. Ripen Pears by Placing Them in a Paper Bag with a Banana or Apple
Another method to quickly ripen pears is the paper bag trick. For this method, simply place the fruits in a paper bag and seal it loosely as oxygen is needed for the ripening to take place.
The bag will capture the ethylene or ripening gas that the fruits give off, effectively speeding up the process. Adding a ripe banana or apple can bump the process up a notch as these fruits are great ethylene producers.
In addition to fast tracking ripeness, Ethylene also affects changes in color and flavor, as it converts starch to sugar, and causes the fruit to become softer.
After a day or two in the paper bag, the pears should be ready for consumption. It’s important to note that once the pears are ripe, they must be eaten in a day or two as they have a short shelf life.
If your pears do happen to become overripe, you don’t need to worry because there are options. Overripe pears can be used to make pies, smoothies, juices and other tasty delights.
You Might Like: How to Ripen Papayas