How To Ripen Pears

by Ishani Bose last updated -

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Pears are deliciously sweet indeed and taste great when eaten just like that, in salads, or when cooked. However, these delectably sweet, juicy fruits are one of those rare ones that do not ripen on the tree. Typically, they are harvested when unripe. They are then required to be kept at room temperature to gradually reach full maturity. Once they ripen inside out, they turn into the sweet and succulent fruits we know and enjoy. So what is the process to ripen pears? Are there ways to speed up the process? Let us find out.

How To Ripen Pears?

Pears are bright green and hard when they are plucked from trees and are thus mostly raw when sold. It is only when they are brought home that they are usually ripened. Some prefer to have them raw, but they taste the best when perfectly matured. But how do you know when the pears have ripened to sweet and juicy perfection? Follow our FAQs to know how to ripen pears in the quickest and easiest way possible.

Pear juice in a glass surrounded by a couple of pears

Ripe pears have a refreshingly sweet & delicious taste. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How To Choose Pears?

Before you ripen the pears, it is important to choose the right kind of fruit. Here are a few points to remember while selecting the ideal kind of pears to buy.

  • Pears vary from a light green color to yellow to light brown (the Asian ones) depending on their variety.
  • While buying pears, ensure that the ones you select do not have any bruises or blemishes on them. The pears that taste good are usually the unblemished ones.
  • Select pairs that are hard and firm when purchasing them from a store. It is always best to purchase such pears as they can then be ripened at home. These pears with a hard exterior will begin to soften as they start to ripen.
  • If you’re handpicking pears, twist the mature ones off the tree. Given that pears mature off the tree, you don’t have to wait till they soften to pluck them off the branches.

What Are The Different Ways To Ripen Pears?

There are different ways to ripen pears and it all depends on how quickly you want it to happen. The different methods are as follows:

Storing at room temperature: Allowing the pears to stay at room temperature for 4-7 days will help them naturally ripen. They will mature if they are left untouched on the tabletop or kitchen counter. However, keep checking on them daily to see they don’t get spoilt in the process. It is best to keep them next to each other rather than stacking them all up. This will help avoid any kind of bruising or damage.

Storing in a paper bag: If pears are kept in a paper bag they tend to ripen quickly, thanks to the gases that they release. This way, the pears ideally take not more than 4 days to ripen. All you need to do is keep the pears neatly in a paper bag and lightly fold the opening of the bag to close it. However, you need to check them on a daily basis to ensure they don’t get spoilt. Additionally, ensure that the bag you use is made of paper and not plastic as that could trap the gases and not allow the bag to breathe.

Store along with ripe fruits in a paper bag: This method will ensure that your pears ripen within 3 days. This is a fast process. All you need to do is put ripe bananas and apples in the bag along with the pears and the ethylene gas thus released will cause them to age quickly. However, you need to ensure that the bananas and apples don’t spoil inside the paper bag as a rotten fruit can ruin the entire bag of pears.

Don’t refrigerate pears till they are ripe: If you refrigerate pears before they are ripe, you may entirely ruin their chances of ripening. Unripe pears are hard as it is, so it doesn’t make sense to refrigerate the ones that have a firm exterior. It is always ideal to wait for your pear to soften before you put it inside the refrigerator.

Once the pears ripen, you can eat them in different ways, which is best explained in our article, How To Eat Pears.

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About the Author

An alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Ishani Bose has worked as a reporter/features writer for several leading newspapers and organizations in India. It was her love for food, health, and wellness that brought her to Organic Facts. She is also passionate about mental health and enjoys writing about it to educate more and more people about the same. She is an avid Instagrammer who knows the latest social media trends. When not writing or cooking, you’ll find her reading, traveling, soaking herself in music, arts, and culture in every way possible. Ishani has completed an online program on “Introduction to Food and Health” by Stanford University, US. Furthermore, she has completed an online course on “The Science of Wellbeing” by the Department of Psychology, Yale University.

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