Harvest of the Month: Pears

Pears are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They are an excellent source of fiber and Vitamin C, and have only 100 calories per serving. The skin of a pear is proven to be one of the healthiest, since it’s packed with tons of antioxidants. Pears come in 10 different varieties, each with its own distinctive color, flavor, and texture. The most common type of pear is the sweet, juicy, green-skinned Bartlett pear.

How to Select

With so many types of pears available, there is one for every season. Pears start arriving late summer with Bartlett pears and are followed by the Comice and Anjou in the fall and winter.
Pears can be tricky to select because they ripen from the outside in, so what you see may not be what you get. It’s best to avoid any bruises or unappealing skin. Pears are picked while they are unripe and then left to ripen off the tree. Try to buy pears while they are still hard and then store them in a fruit bowl to ripen later.

How to Store

As mentioned above, you typically want to buy unripe pears and store them at room temperature to ripen for several days. Do not store pears in a plastic bag or container, as they are sensitive to carbon dioxide.

How to Prepare

Pears can be eaten right off your counter. There is no need to cook or prepare them. They are tasty eaten alone, in smoothies, or as a yogurt topping.

Try pears in the recipe for Pear Oatmeal and Blueberry Smoothie from USA Pears.

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