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The Easiest Way To Tell If A Pear Is Actually Ripe

 

When pears are picked from the tree, they’re not actually ripe. “When most grocery stores display pears, they have been in cold storage from the day they were picked until they reach the consumer,” says Kathy Stephenson, marketing communications director, Pear Bureau Northwest, at USA Pears. “That ensures the best quality and helps you control when you ripen and eat pears. If left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out.”

That means pears in the grocery store have a range of ripeness—the freshest, farthest-from-ripe pears are often hard as a bowling ball, Stephenson says. “When you select a firm pear, you will want to ripen at home to reach the perfect sweet and juicy character.” Softer pears are ready to eat.

As a general rule of thumb, start by looking for pears that have no broken skin or bruises. Then pick based on your desired level of ripeness—if you want to stock up for the week, go hard so the pears aren’t mushy by the time you’re ready to eat them.

Related: 7 Foods I Prep Each Week to Make Sure I Eat as Healthy as Possible

 

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