Bosc pears are in season into Spring, and are a perfect pick for recipes both savory and sweet. (PRNewsFoto/Pear Bureau Northwest)
Updated: January 8, 2013 10:14AM
Pears are one of the few fruits that don’t ripen on the tree. They’re harvested when mature but not quite ripe to eat. They ripen when left at room temperature, becoming sweeter and more succulent from the inside out.
For most varieties, you can’t judge the ripeness of a pear based on its color. Instead you should “Check the Neck.”
U.S. pear growers came up with this catchy phrase to remind pear lovers to gently apply pressure around the neck of the pear with your thumb. If your thumb yields to the pressure, then you’ve got yourself a nice, juicy pear. Once a pear is ripe, you can store it in the fridge for up to five days.
Like apples, pears brown once sliced. To prevent browning, dip them in a 50-50 mixture of water and lemon juice.
Place underripe pears in a bowl with fruit like bananas that give off ethylene and speed up ripening.
Wash pears thoroughly before eating to eliminate dirt and bacteria. Be sure to pay special attention to the pear near the stem and bottom by gently scrubbing.
You may be familiar with Bartlett and Bosc pears, but there are so many more varieties you may find.
† Green Anjou: In season September through July. Sweet and juicy with a hint of citrus.
† Bartlett: In season August through February. Juice pears with a delicious flavor and aroma.
† Bosc: In season September through May. Crisp to the bite with a sweet honey flavor.
† Concorde: In season September through January. Crunchy and earthy with a touch of vanilla flavor.
† Seckel: In season September through March. Crunchy, bite-sized red-skinned pears that are super sweet.
† Comice: In season September through March. Light green outside with a sweet custard-like flavor and texture.
† Forelle: In season September through March. Crisp and tangy with a hint of sweetness.
† Starkrimson: In season August through January. This sweet red-skinned pear has a hint of floral essence.
One medium pear has 100 calories, 6 grams of fiber and 10 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C. These babies also provide vitamin K, potassium and copper and they are brimming with phytochemical antioxidants such as quercetin.
Courtesy Toby Amidor on foodnetwork.com Scripps Howard