A perfectly shaped pear wrapped in golden foil speaks luxury, no? At least I am not in the bracket of people that choose to spend around $40 for a box of gourmet pears. When I saw that Lucky’s Market is advertising pears for 29 cents a pound this week, I began to wonder what the secret to ripening a perfect pear was and if it was something that “anybody” could do.
The books on my shelf weren’t very much help. The ingredients book included several pages of beautiful photographs. The book specifically about fruit gave a brief history of pear cultivation and listed some varieties. Unfortunately, the pear that our grocery store has on sale, the Bartlett, was not mentioned.
Never fear, though. The internet search engine supplied the information desired.
Apparently, farmers pick most of their pear harvest while the fruit is still firm. This way they can store them and market them for longer. Pears need some chill time in order to ripen properly. After the chill time, they also need some days at room temperature to reach their prime. They are ripe when the neck of the fruit yields to pressure from your thumb.
Different pears differ in “shelf life” so I’m only going to write about the ones I purchased.
Bartletts keep 2-3 months in cold storage.
They need 1-2 days chill time to ripen properly.
After the chill time, they need 4-5 days at room temperature to finish ripening.
They are ripe when the neck of the pear gives under pressure of your thumb.
So, for now my 78 cent purchase is in the fruit drawer at the bottom of my refrigerator. We’ll see how they look in a few weeks.