Check the Neck

Did you know that pears don’t ripen on the tree? They’re harvested when they’re mature, although not ripe. Once off the tree, they ripen from the inside out.

If you want your pears to ripen, don’t keep them in the refrigerator. Instead, place them on the counter near other fresh fruits, like bananas, or in a brown paper bag. Bananas naturally give off a gas called ethylene that speeds up the ripening process.

To tell if a pear is ripe, check the neck, or the stem end of the pear, by applying slight pressure with your thumb. If it yields, it’s ripe, sweet, and juicy!

Here are some more quick tips:
•    Most pears don’t change colors when ripening. Only the Bartlett pear changes from green to a bright yellow.
•    Once a pear is ripe, it can be refrigerated to slow the ripening process further, but should be used within five days.
•    Cut pears will begin to brown once the flesh is exposed. This natural oxidation won’t affect the taste or quality of your pears, but it doesn’t make for the prettiest salad! Keep your cut pears fresh by dipping them in a mixture of 1 part water to 1 part lemon juice.
•    Have overripe pears on your hands? Blend them into soups, smoothies, or sauces!

For more ripening info, visit our website at

About Brittany

Hi! I’m Brittany Wilmes, program coordinator at Pear Bureau Northwest. As half of the Communications and PR department at the Pear Bureau, I write about pear pop culture for The Pear Dish—sharing everything pear, from fresh recipes to community involvement to fun décor ideas. Have an article or idea to share? Feel free to email me! In addition to blogging, I’m busy sharing the pear love on behalf of the Pear Bureau Northwest…and eating USA Pears!

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