Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Let (On-Sale, Organic) Pears Ripen

Unfortunately, most pears sold at food markets are rock hard. But, with a little care, ripe pears can be yours in just a few days.

Whole Foods, which always runs sales on in-season fruits and vegetables, was recently offering organic pears (several varieties) for $1.69, down from the usual $2.49. The pears were far from ripe, but I bought six Bartletts to take advantage of the great price.

To ripen pears, just let them sit at room temperature until they start to soften at the neck, just below the stem. Putting them in a closed paper bag speeds up the maturing process, as ethylene gas produced by the pears (for ripening) gets trapped in the bag. I put mine in a bag and they went from concrete to perfectly ripe (and delicious) in about four days.

Once the pears are ripe, keep them in the refrigerator in an open plastic bag.


Anonymous said...

Hi Rob ... been a fan of yours for a while. I, like you, am a fan of the NYC GreenMarket system and often buy my fruits and vegetables at the NYC greenmarkets. Is there a difference in health and taste between buying fruits and veggies from the local farmers at the market versus buying organic fruits and veggies from stores like Whole Foods?

Personally, I often find that the fruits bought locally taste a bit better than the organic counterparts shipped from the west coast or sometimes other countries. Even those that are not freshly picked but stored (like pears and apples).

Chef Rob said...


Thanks for reading! I'll discuss this issue (local vs. organic) in tomorrow's post.


Anonymous said...

A little late for this season, but I have real trouble buying, ripening, and keeping peaches. I can get them to ripen, but they go bad (moldy) so fast, and I end up throwing them away. Everything else turns out great for me, so I must be doing something wrong with peaches.

Chef Rob said...

Are you putting them in the refrigerator once they begin to ripen?