With its crisp bite and round contours, the Asian pear reminds us of an apple, so its nickname "apple pear" isn't off the mark. The mild, sweet taste comes fully forward with incredible crunch and juiciness. The peel adds tanginess to the sweet flesh. Try tossing slices of Asian pear into a stir-fry — its crispness is like a water chestnut's.
Peak Season: Varies
To ripen pears, store them at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Since these fruits become more fragile as they ripen, try to store them loosely in a bowl or on a plate. When ripe, most pears will give slightly when pressed gently near the stem. Some pears, like Bartlett, turn from green to yellow and produce a fragrance as they ripen.
Storing Ripe Pears
Once a pear hits its peak ripeness, transfer it to the refrigerator crisper and eat within a few days.
Storing Asian Pears
Asian pears will remain quite firm when they are ripe, so the key to determining if they are ready to eat is aroma: a ripe Asian pear will be quite fragrant. If they are unblemished, most Asian pears should keep in the refrigerator crisper for up to 2 months. Wrap each pear in paper towels to protect it, and place in a perforated plastic bag.
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