History books suggest that pears were cultivated more than 4000 years ago in the Caucasus before spreading to the rest of Europe. In Ancient Greek and Roman cultures, pears were associated with several deities like Venus, Hera, and Juno and were considered divine gifts from the gods.
Today, you don’t want to waste the bunch of fresh pears you got from the store, as you can use them in desserts, salads, jams, dips, and tajines. So, should pears be refrigerated? What is the best way to store them?
You’ve come to the right place because we’ll answer all your questions in this article. So, let’s dive in.
Should Pears Be Refrigerated?
You shouldn’t refrigerate pears until they ripen. After that, you can safely store them in the fridge so they can last longer. Ripe pears can go bad at room temperature after about four days. They can last for up to 12 or 14 days in the fridge.
According to the USA Pear Bureau, you need to check the neck of the pear near the stem. Squeeze it and see if it’s a little soft.
If it’s too hard, your pear is still unripe, and you shouldn’t put it in the fridge yet. It will also taste too sour or not as sweet as you expect it to be.
However, if there’s a little give, then it’s good to go. Once you take a bite, you’ll enjoy the crunchy texture and the sweet taste of the pear.
On the other hand, if the pear feels too soft and you see bruising or marking wherever you press it, it’s probably too ripe. In this case, you need to eat it soon, or it will go bad.
Some people rely on the color of the pears to see if they’re ripe. This, however, doesn’t always work because although some varieties change color, others don’t.
How Should You Store Pears?
It’s best to buy pears that aren’t fully ripe. This will give them time to ripe at home, so you can enjoy their sweet taste.
Leave pears on the counter at room temperature, around 70 °F, for three or four days. You should keep the pears whole and dry, or they will go bad.
Keep the pears next to ripe apples or bananas to accelerate the ripening process. You can also keep them in a brown bag.
Once ripe, you should move the pears to the fridge unless you plan to cut and eat them immediately. Pears can last in the fridge for up 12 days or a little bit more. Yet, the sooner you consume them, the better.
How Can I Prevent Cut Pears From Turning Brown?
It’s always recommended to store pears as a whole. When you cut pears, they quickly turn brown because the enzymes in their tissues react with oxygen.
This is a natural process and doesn’t mean that your pears are bad or unsafe for use. They’re still perfectly safe, but they might not look appealing, especially if you plan to use them in desserts and salads.
Although whole pears can last in the fridge for almost two weeks, cut pears should be kept in a sealed container, and they will be good for only four or five days. Here are some tips to help maintain their color once cut.
- Soak your pears in a bowl of cold water after adding some salt to it. Ensure you don’t add too much salt, as it might change their taste, and rinse your fruits before eating them.
- Squeeze a lemon over your cut pears or soak them in lemon water.
- Empty a bottle of carbonated soda in a bowl and soak your pears.
How Do You Know That Your Pears Have Gone Bad?
Keeping pears in the fridge can help them last a little longer, but they can still go bad if you don’t consume them soon. Here are some signs that you need to discard them.
- You see brown spots or mold growing on the outside of the pears.
- The upper part of the neck looks wet.
- The pears start oozing water or shrinking in size. This is a sign that they’ve lost all their moisture.
Pears can be refrigerated after they are ripe. They can take a few days to ripe on the counter, and then you can move them to the fridge, where they will last for 12 days.
You should cut pears right before consuming them to maintain their color. If you want to keep them in the fridge, you can keep them in a sealed container, but they won’t last long.