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Pear 101 – How to Store and Serve Pears

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A member of the large rose family, the pear is related to the apple, the almond, and the apricot. Pear trees, like apple trees, thrive in most temperate zones, however they are slightly more susceptible to temperature changes than apple trees.

Most pears are oblong with a bulging end that gives them a teardrop appearance, while some kinds are nearly fully spherical. Their edible skin is usually soft and thin and can be yellow, brown, red, or green.

The white or cream-colored flesh is delicately grained, however it may be slightly gritty near the center in some kinds. The core resembles an apple core and can hold up to ten seeds. Depending on the kind, pear flesh might be more or less juicy, soft, and fragrant. Some types are picked in the summer, while others are picked in the fall or even in the winter in warmer climates.

Pears, like bananas and avocados, do not ripen properly on the tree, thus they are normally taken before they are fully ripe to avoid the flesh becoming gritty and granular. In refrigerated warehouses or cold-atmosphere storage, the ripening process continues. The fruit remains solid as the starch is progressively converted to sugar, with a smooth, delicate, and pleasant feel.

A Brief History of the Pear

The pear tree is endemic to central Asia’s northern areas, where it has been found growing wild since prehistoric times. The pear has been cultivated for 3,000 years and was prized by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese.

Types of Pears

Pears are available in hundreds of varieties, many of which were developed by crossbreeding in the 17th and 18th centuries to improve the fruit’s features. Here are descriptions of some of the most popular pear varietals.

Anjou Pear

The Anjou pear is a French fruit. It has a modest size, a short neck, and skin that is light green or yellowish green in color. The flesh has a delicate, buttery texture and is highly juicy.

Bartlett Pear (Williams Pear)

The Bartlett pear is an English variety that Enoch Bartlett introduced to the United States. In Europe, it’s known as the Williams pear. Its smooth, white flesh is incredibly aromatic, and its skin changes from pale green to golden yellow as it ripens. The Red Bartlett pear has a same delicious flavor. Both types of Bartlett pears are excellent for cooking.

Bosc Pear

The skin of the Bosc pear, which originated in Belgium, is thicker and rougher than that of other types, and it is brown, bordering on yellow. The Bosc has an oblong shape, a long, thin neck, and a juicy, white flesh that is granular and fragrant. It may be cooked and poached with ease.

Comice Pear

The Comice pear was developed in France and is considered one of the best pears in the world. It has sensitive greenish yellow skin with pink or brown tinges when mature, and is large and spherical with a short neck. Its fragrant, yellowish-white flesh is luscious and sweet to the extreme. Cheeses of high quality are frequently served with the Comice.

Conference Pear

The Conference pear got its name from winning first place at the International Pear Conference in London in 1885. Its juicy, sweet, and delicious creamy white flesh is juicy, sweet, and refreshing. This type is very similar to the Bosc.

Packham Pear

Charles Henry Packham of Australia invented the Packham pear in 1896 as a hybrid between a Bartlett and a Yvedale Saint-Germain pear. The Packham is similar to the Bartlett in color and flavor, but its shape is less symmetrical. The Packham features white flesh that is delicious and sweet, with a tiny neck and green skin that turns slightly yellowish as the fruit grows.

Passe-Crassane Pear

The Passe-Crassane pear was initially discovered in Normandy, France, in 1855, when an orchard grower named Louis Boisbunel crossed a pear with a quince. It’s a great winter pear because of its exceptional keeping capabilities. The Passe-Crassane has a thick skin and is huge and spherical. Its slightly grainy white flesh is exceedingly sweet and appetizing, and it melts in the mouth.

Rocha Pear

The Rocha pear is a medium-sized, spherical fruit with a short brownish neck that is endemic to Portugal. It has a yellow skin with green flecks. Its flesh starts out firm and crisp, but as it ripens, it turns soft and buttery.

Nutritional Information: Pear

Fresh (100 g)
Dried (100 g)
0.4 g
1.9 g
0.4 g
0.6 g
15 g
70 g
1.4 g
6.4 g


Pears are high in fiber and potassium, as well as copper. Dried pears have a significantly higher concentration of nutrients; they are high in potassium and a good source of copper and iron, as well as magnesium, vitamin C, phosphorus, and sodium. Ripe pears are diuretic, remineralizing, stomachic, and sedative, while unripe pears are difficult to digest and have a laxative effect.

How to Buy Pears

When purchasing pears, there are a few rules to follow that will assist you in making the best decision.

  • Look for: Smooth, firm, but not excessively hard pears with a good aroma. When squeezed near the stem, the flesh of a ripe pear gives.
  • Avoid: Pears with bruising, mold, or skin cracks should be avoided.

How to Store Pears

Pears should be stored differently depending on whether they are ripe or not.

How to Store Ripe Pears

Follow these instructions for storing ripe pears:

  • In the refrigerator: Avoid storing pears too close together or in an airtight bag or container because they release ethylene gas, which speeds up spoilage. Pears should be kept away from foods with strong odors, such as apples, onions, potatoes, and cabbage. Pears last approximately a week in the refrigerator.
  • In the freezer: Pears that have not been cooked do not freeze well. Cooked pears should last 2–3 months in the freezer.

How to Store Unripe Pears

Unripe pears should be kept at room temperature until they ripen, which can take anywhere from a few days to a week. When some types ripen, the skin does not turn color but remains green; these varieties are ready when the skin yields slightly under gentle pressure.

Serving Ideas for Pears

Pears are used to make everything from jam to juice to vinegar to liqueurs, and they can be consumed raw, roasted, dried, or candied.

  • With desserts: Sorbets, yogurt, soufflés, pies, and charlottes are all popular uses for pears.
  • In sauces and marinades: Pears can be served with a sauce or a variety of garnishes. Pears are frequently used in chutneys and marinades.
  • With vegetables: Pears are wonderful with sweet onions and slightly bitter vegetables like watercress, radichio, dandelion, and chicory, and add an unusual touch to mixed salads.
  • With cheese: Pears pair beautifully with cheeses including Brie, Camembert, cheddar, goat cheese, and Roquefort.
  • With meat: Pears pair well with prosciutto or Parma ham in a variety of meals.

Chocolate-Covered Pears

If fresh pears aren’t available, canned pears in syrup can be used instead.


  • 4 large pears
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter


  1. Remove the stems from the pears before peeling them. To keep them from oxidizing, squeeze half a lemon over them. To make each pear stand up, cut a tiny slice from the bottom.
  2. Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan. Add the vanilla extract and the pears as soon as the sugar has dissolved, and poach them for 15–20 minutes, or until they are transparent, over low heat. Allow them to cool in the syrup for a while. After that, drain and lay them away.
  3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in a double boiler to make the chocolate sauce. When the chocolate has melted, mix in the cream and the butter. Serve the pears with chocolate sauce on top.

How to Poach Pears

A classic winter treat is poached pears. You’ll need a few simple materials to prepare poached pears:

  • Ripe pears: Any sort of pear can be poached. The instructions below are for poaching 6 pears.
  • Alcohol: You can use any kind of wine, liqueur, or a combination of the two. For 6 pears, you’ll need roughly 3 cups.
  • Sugar: To poach 6 pears, you’ll need 3/4 cup.
  • Spices: From cinnamon to lemon peel to bay leaves, you can use any spices you like.

You can create your own poached pear recipes by mixing and matching ingredients from these four basic categories. Once you’ve decided on the ingredients, poach the pears according to these instructions:

  1. Leave the stems on the pears when peeling them.
  2. Place the pears in a big pot and arrange them side by side. Pour the bourbon over the pears. You may need to add a bit more water to cover the pears.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the saucepan partially. Cook the pears for 20–30 minutes, or until they are soft when pricked.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears from the liquid.
  5. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat until it has thickened into a glossy syrup.
  6. Allow 10–15 minutes for the syrup to cool before pouring it over the pears.
  7. Pears should be served on individual plates.
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