The Right Way to Tell If a Pear Is Ripe

And how to speed up the ripening process, too.

Pears on Cutting Board
Photo: Sasha Bell/Getty Images

You bought a pear. You'd love to eat it right about now. Or mix some sweet wedges in a stiff drink. Or perhaps, you'd like to gingerly slice off a few pieces and scatter them on top of your cinnamon-dusted bowl of oatmeal. Or maybe you have loftier plans of making a pear tart and topping your creation off with a gorgeous fan of fresh pears. But is your pear ripe? Should you wait an extra day? Is it the color or texture you should be looking at to determine ripeness? Ah, the eternal rose family questions.

Recently, SELF shed some light on how to tell if a pear is ripe or not, with the insight of Randy Davidson, global produce field inspector at Whole Foods Market. "The best way to tell if a pear is ripe is by feel," said Davidson. Place a few fingers down on the "neck" of the pear (close to the stem) and press down to see how much it gives in; if it gives in a bit, the pear is ripe."Pears texture should be fairly firm and consistent, but with more give near the stem end when ripe," he explains. "Harder fruit is less ripe."

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If you want to speed up the pear ripening process, the piece also suggests that you can store a pear in a brown paper bag, a process that will trap a gas called ethylene and accelerate ripening of the pear. "Alternatively, Davidson says you can also store them in a fruit bowl at room temperature and they will eventually come around. Once they've reached your desired ripeness, he recommends storing them in the fridge to increase their lifespan," writes the article's author, Audrey Bruno.

Do you feel pre-pear-ed for your next fruity snack now? Check out our favorite fall pear recipes here.

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