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How to Tell if a Pear is Ripe

Last updated on January 27, 2012

How to Tell if a Pear is RipeWhen selecting pears at the market, it can sometimes be tricky to figure out if they are ripe, overripe, or not quite ripe. This is because pears ripen from the inside out and can be deceiving.

Grocery stores often sell fruit that is underripe so they can keep them on display and for sale longer, so chances are most pears that you find in the store won’t be fully ripe.

Here’s how to tell if a pear is ripe and ready to be eaten.

According to the Northwest Pear Bureau, testing a pear’s ripeness near the stem is better than testing on the body of the fruit. They recommend that you “check the neck.”

If a pear is very soft around the middle, it may indicate that the fruit is overripe. To test it, press the pear on its neck near the stem. If it yields to gentle pressure, it is ready to eat.

Here are some other tips for choosing ripe, fresh pears:

Bruising and Damage
Choose pears that are undamaged and free of bruises.

Color
Bartlett pears change from green to yellow as they ripen, but all other pear varieties stay the same color whether ripe or unripe.

If you have some underripe pears, check out How to Ripen Pears.

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