Stored in a cool place, these freshly picked pears will ripen in a few days.
“There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We’ve been harvesting our pears in phases over the past week; the fruit seems to ripen unevenly on our trees, depending upon the amount of sun exposure. I begin to check them for ripeness when I notice one or two fall to the ground, usually in early September. If the fruit detaches easily when tilted sideways, it’s ripe enough to pick. We’ve learned that it’s best not to let the pears ripen fully on the tree- the fruit becomes coarse and bruises easily. Stored in a cool spot or refrigerated, the pears release ethylene and form sugars more slowly, yielding better texture and flavor. It’s still a challenge to know how best to put them to use with such a tiny window of perfect ripeness, especially when we’ve had a bumper crop like this year.
Waverly Root recommended eating ripe pears with a spoon!