Tips on how to choose, ripen and store supermarket fresh pears

Pears are a favourite autumn fruit for Aussies. Typically grown in the southern regions of Australia due to the cool mild winters and warm summers, 90% of Australian pears come from Victoria’s Goulburn Valley region.

Three main varieties reign supreme – Packham pears (account for approximately 60% of pear production), Williams pears (20%) and Beurre Bosc (10%).

Picking season is at the start of the year, from January through to March with pears hitting the shelves as early as April.

Here Australian Farmers explains more about the humble pear:

  1. When is a pear ripe?

Pears ripen from the inside out, and while some varieties of pears change colour when ripe, others show little or no change in colour.

To check if a pear is ripe, press the flesh gently near the stem.

If the flesh gives a little, the pear is ripe and ready to enjoy.

If you like a sweet, crunchy pear, it can be eaten straight away. If you like a softer pear, then leave it for another day or two.

2. Can I speed up the ripening of pears?

If your pears are not quite ripe, try these handy ripening tips:

  • Place pears in a paper bag and keep at room temperature. This traps the ethylene gas the pears emit, encouraging them to ripen faster.
  • Keep them in the fruit bowl with bananas or apples, which also give off ethylene gas that encourages ripening.
  • To really speed up the process, place pears in a paper bag with a banana.

3. How should I store my pears?

Unripe pears

Pears should be stored at room temperature to allow them to ripen. Check them daily so they don’t become overripe.

Ripe pears

Once pears are ripe, they will stay fresher and last longer when stored in the fridge. Refrigeration helps delay the ripening process. Avoid stacking ripe pears to prevent bruising.

For more information about Australian pears and to explore a range of pear recipes, visit the Australian Pears website.


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