Pear Shelf Life: How Long Do Pears Last?

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Shelf Life of Pears:

A unique characteristic about pears is that they do not ripen on the tree, but are harvested before they can mature and then ripened on the counter. The shelf life of pears depends on the method of storage and how early they were picked.

Generally, pears last up to 4 days on the counter, but if refrigerated properly, can last 5-12 days. Although freezing is not recommended, when done properly, they can last up to a year. Even after a year, if kept at 0 C, pears can last indefinitely. When cut, they last only a day on the counter or 1-3 days in the refrigerator.

Purchasing Pears:

Different varieties of pears are present throughout the world, including Anjou, Bosc, Bartlett, Comice, and Nashi. They are available in different colors ranging from green to yellow and brown and even red. It is recommended to buy the Bartlett or Bosc. When looking for a crunchier variety, the Anjou and the Comice are the best. Avoid pears with brown skin and broken skin or blemishes. Pears with mold or oozing skin should be disposed of immediately.

Storing Pears:

Pears are supposed to be ripened on the counter at room temperature and then stored in the refrigerator. Ripe pears do not last very long, so they should be refrigerated immediately. This will ensure more juicy and flavorful pears. They can be stored in a plastic bag or in an airtight container. When cut, they should be immediately wrapped to ensure minimum air exposure. Freezing is to be done with sliced pears. Pear slices are stored in sugar syrup in a covered airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag.

Handling Pears:

To ripen pears, they should be wrapped in a brown paper bag and left at room temperature. Care should be taken not overripe the pear and spoil it so; the bag should be checked daily. A pear ripens from inside out, so the neck of the pear should be gently pressed. If it yields, the pear is ripe. The fruit should be washed even if you plan on peeling. Washing it helps to eliminate dirt and bacteria that can be lingering on the surface. The Bartlett is the most delicate, so care should be exercised when transporting it and they should be finished sooner. The Anjou is the toughest variety and can take days to ripen.

Cooking Pears:

Pears are mostly water, 84% of it, and 15% carbohydrates. A small pear (100 gm serving) contains 57 calories and is a good source of fiber. Pears are mainly consumed fresh or in juice. Jams and jellies can also be made from the juice. Fermented pear juice is called pear cider or Perry. Mostly, pears are used in desserts, especially when poached. Poached pears can be served on their own or baked into a pie or a tart. They are also used in savory dishes like soups or with roasted chicken to provide a balance of flavors to the dish. You can also serve them as a salad with other fruits or vegetables.