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National Pear Month

You purchase a beautiful pear, set it on the counter to ripen and a few days later take a bite.  Seems it is either too hard or over ripe.  In fact, 84% of people surveyed did not know how to tell when a pear was ripe.

Unlike apples, pears ripen better off of the tree.  So harvest your homegrown pears when they easily separate from the tree.  Lift the fruit to a horizontal position and if it detaches it is time to harvest. Then move them to a cool place for several days to improve ripening and longevity.  Then finish ripening the fruit at 65 to 70 degrees.

Use the neck test to determine your pear’s ripeness.  Hold the pear in the palm of your hand like a baseball.  Use the thumb of that hand to gently press against the pear right below the stem.  If it gives evenly under gentle pressure it’s ready to eat.  If it resists wait a day or two.

A bit more information: Select Asian pears based on smell not firmness.  A ripe Asian pear will be firm with a strong sweet aroma at room temperature and less so when the fruit is cold.

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