Nutrition: Pears basically are flavorful sacks of natural sugar and dietary fiber. One cup of pear slices contains 81 calories, about the same as one small pear. That also represents 4 grams of dietary fiber, more than two slices of whole wheat bread. Pears are considered a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K and copper. Pear skin is very high in anti-oxidants (as well as lots of fiber).
Selection: Choose firm pears with no major blemishes, dents or bruises. After picking (and often cold storage), pears ripen at room temperature.
Storage: Once you get your pears home, keep them on the kitchen counter to ripen. It usually takes five to seven days. If you’re in a hurry, put the pears in a paper bag with a banana or apple; the pears will ripen in one to two days.
Firm pears will keep in the refrigerator crisper drawer for several weeks. Before use, let them ripen on the counter at room temperature. Once fully ripe, pears may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
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Ripeness test: Check the pear’s neck for ripeness daily. With your thumb, press gently on the stem end of the pear. When the pear yields to pressure, it’s ready to eat.