Pears are plucked from trees while still green, and thus, are mostly sold raw in stores. On ripening, they are succulent bites that refresh our taste buds. If you have a basket full of raw pears, read this Tastessence post to know how to ripen them with ease.
Ripe pears have a refreshing taste. But avoid ripening the fruit by leaving it unpicked from the tree. Their texture gets grainy if ripened on the tree.
Pears grow in temperate climates. Also called pome, this fruit is spherical or pumpkin-shaped. Some fruits taste good when they are raw, while others taste good when they are ripe. Pears must be eaten ripe to experience their sumptuous taste and juicy flavor. This fruit must be picked from the tree when it is raw. If buying from a store, pick ones that are raw. Subsequently, ripen them at home before consuming.
If you bought quite a few pears that are raw and need to be stored to ripen, make sure you check if any fruits have gone bad. As even a single bad fruit in the pile can affect the whole batch of pears. Each type of pear has a specific ripening period. If you know the type of pear, it is easier to estimate the time required for its ripening. For example, Anjou pears require about a week to ripen.
How to Ripen Pears
To determine if the pear is ripe, gently press the end of the stem to check if its flesh is softened. If it feels soft, then the pear is ripe. Described below are a few easy ways to ripen pears.
Subject Pears to Chilling
Once harvested, or right after you buy pears, they must be placed in a cool storage at temperatures of about 28-30ºF. The chilling period is determined by the type of pears you are ripening. For the Bartlett variety of pears, the chilling time is as less as 2-3 days, while for Bosc pears, the chilling time is about 5-8 days.
On completion of the chilling process, place the pears at room temperature which is about 60-75ºF. The longer the chilling period, the faster will the pears ripen at room temperature.
✴ Remember that not all pears will take the same time to ripen when subjected to cooling.
✴ Chilling process should be carried out immediately after harvest.
Coupling Pears With Ripe Fruits
A chemical called ethylene hastens the ripening process. This chemical is present in fruits that are ripe. These fruits release ethylene gas. Any other raw fruit coming in contact with ripe fruits absorbs this ethylene gas and ripens faster. Place the pears to be ripened in a brown paper bag along with a ripe fruit, such as an apple or a banana. This will expedite the process of ripening in pears.
This process can be done without a paper bag too. All we need to do is couple the pears with ripe fruits in a bowl. Place the pears with ripe fruits only when they are to be eaten. Consume immediately after the pears turn ripe.
✴ An additional step to this method can be heating the pear in a microwave for about 10-15 seconds on moderate power before placing it with ripe fruits in a brown paper bag.
✴ Keep checking the pears as they may overripe if placed with a ripe fruit for a longer time.
✴ Fruit ripening bowls are available in stores. These bowls can be used as a substitute for the brown paper bag.
The ripening process is quite simple. Isn’t it? However, what needs to be understood is that ripening is a process which can be stimulated, but do not expect pears to turn ripe overnight. Ripened pears can be canned in a sugar and vanilla solution for future use. They can also be used for making delicious pear loaf, pear pie, or pear cake.