Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pear Week ~ When is a Bartlett Ripe?

Ah - the end of Pear Week.  No recipe today.  Instead I wanted to share some tips I learned on how to tell when a Bartlett pear is ripe.  Methods are a little different for other types of pears.  I'll only address the Bartletts today since that's what I used for all my recipes!

I always thought that Barlett pears should be fully yellow and slightly soft to the touch when ripe.  Not quite.  When Bartlett pears are ripe, they start changing from green to yellow (so you could have both colors at the same time), but if they are soft to the touch in the center, then they are overripe and will go bad very fast.

You are supposed to "check the neck" to tell if they are ripe and at the peak of sweetness.  Grab the pear around the center and use your thumb to gently press in just under the stem.  If it presses in easily - it's ripe!  If it gives some resistance, it's not quite ready yet.

I learned something else interesting.  Bartlett pears ripen best off the tree.  So they are picked well before they are ripe.  This gives them the best texture and the sweetest flavor.  I could never figure out why our grocery store always had firm green Bartlett pears.  That's on purpose!  In fact, you shouldn't buy really yellow, soft, bruised Bartlett pears - they will be overripe.  You'll have to have a little patience and ripen the pears at home.  Once ripe, you can also store in the refrigerator to lengthen the time before it goes bad by a few days.

Whew - that was a little too educational for me.  I think we need a pear joke here.

If you had 5 oranges in one hand, and 5 pears in the other hand, what would you have?

Massive hands.
BAhahaha.  :)

Thank you again for joining me for Pear Week - I hope you enjoyed it!  I think I'll post a recap on Monday with all the links in one place so it's easy to refer back to when you have a bunch of pears to use up.

Did you learn something new today (besides the joke - LOL)? 

Just picture me checking the neck of over 100 pears to see which ones were ripe.  I'm an expert now - HA!  I'll picture all of you in the grocery stores now checking necks and nodding to yourself while other shoppers look at you like you're a little odd.  :)

Have a wonderful day friends!


  1. I would say after 50lbs of pears you are a pro. And just for fun I'm going to grab a pear in the store next time and give it a squeeze. My luck my thumb will go right through it. LOL!
    I've enjoyed your pear week.

    Big I think we're going to have a bumper crop of cucumbers this fall could you do those next size hugs to you!

    Love ya!

  2. Hey, you educated me, lol! I rarely buy pears but I can tell you how to buy a good melon, haha!

  3. I love knowing how to pick good produce and love your pear tip. I didn't know to check it near the stem! Thanks for a great pear week!


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