So you’ve just brought home the most amazing-looking pears ever and wonder how to store them properly. You may reach for the fridge, and then stop to remember whether you’ve ever seen a pear in the fridge, ever. So of course, you look up ‘should pears be refrigerated’, and here you are !
We’ll help you store your pears just right in no time, and then help you with related questions like how long they last and how to ell when they’re turning bad. So let’s have a look.
Should pears be refrigerated ?
Unripe, fresh pears should not be refrigerated. Like avocados, pears need to ripen on the counter to a softer texture and better flavor. And when they’re ripe, you can keep them in the fridge for up to a week before they start to spoil.
If you put unripe, hard pears in the fridge they will not ripen and remain hard, flavorless, and without any real sweetness.
How to ripen pears at home
So how do you ripen pears at home ? When you’re at the market you’re likely to find dense, hard pears that still need ripening. That’s fine, bring them home. And at home, leave them in a fruit bowl or simply on the counter, by themselves. In 2 to 5 days they should start to soften, and some varieties might even change color to a warmer gold or red hue.
Read also: Should Tomatoes Be Refrigerated ?
You’ll know the pear is ripening if the top part, where the stem is, gets soft. Once the outside of the pear starts to soften, the pear is 100% ripe and good to eat. But just like bananas and avocados, pears have only a short 1-2 day window where they’re perfect, before they start to spoil.
If you want to quicken the ripening, store pears with other fruits that produce a lot of ethylene, like banana and avocado and apples.
How to tell when pears have gone bad
You’ll know your pears are going bad if they’re already too soft, and their skin may break when you give them a gentle squeeze. The upper part of the stem may start to look wet and develop mold. The side the pears are sitting on will also flatten a little due to the weight, and develop a wet spot.
How to pick a good pear from the market
Getting great, ripe pears is mostly done at home, but first you have to pick them out from a market stall, or fruit basket. But how do you get the best pears ? Well you have to keep in mind that not all pear cultivars are the same, some end up very sweet, some are mostly flavorful.
But all of them soften in time and you can use the following tips:
- don’t buy pears with nicks and bruises on them
- don’t buy pears already soft, because they’re likely too soft and already spoiling
- it’s okay if the pear is very hard, it will ripen and soften at home
Some pear types will change from a dull light green to a soft yellow as they ripen. Some may develop just the faintest yellow hue but look almost like the day you bight them. Color is not a good indicator for pears, like it is for apples.
Can you freeze fresh pears ?
Yes, you can freeze fresh pears, as long as you slice them evenly and remove the core. By doing this you will have even thawing, and you can cook them right out of the freezer.
Peeling pears before freezing (or cooking) is optional, but if you’d like to, you can. As long as the core is removed, you’re good. When cutting up the pears make sure the pieces are all evenly sized, otherwise you’ll get uneven freezing.
Be prepared for some browning or bruising when you thaw the pears, as sometimes it can happen. If you’re wondering how long frozen pears last in the freezer, they’re good for up to three months. Make sure you keep them in an airtight container or airtight, freezer-safe bag.
What goes well with pears ?
Pears, especially when fresh, pair well with several food items like cheese, blue cheese, caramel, cinnamon, walnuts, roast almonds, vanilla, and even something stronger like lime or lemon.
The key point of pears is their sweetness, with barely any tartness. So wherever you need to add fruity flavor and lots of sweetness, without turning the dish or drink sour, you can easily add pear. The core of a pear is actually edible too, except the seeds.
Do you need to peel pear before eating ?
No, pears can be eaten without peeling. The outer skin of a pear is thinner than the one of an apple, and it’s not what’s making the pear hard. Pears are hard and dense because of their stone cells, which protect the fruit from damage. These stone cells become surrounded with soft tissue, due to the high amount of sugar and water, as the pear ripens.
So pears do no need peeling, but you can do so if you want. Some people can’t stand the spotted appearance of pear skin, and if that’s the case then go ahead and peel it.
Pear skin, just like apple skin, has the highest amount of dietary fiber out of all the fruit. It helps digestion and bowel movements, especially for those who suffer from constipation. In fact pear also contains sorbitol, a type of naturally-occurring sugar that draws moisture into the intestines and promotes bowel movements. A single pear might not be enough to trigger this but 3-4 may do the trick.
As long as you let pears ripen before storing them, you can always eat them with the skin on (provided you’ve rinsed them).