Sinking your teeth into a pear is a wonderful experience. Depending on the variety, biting into a pear is a juicy and heavenly nibble.
Some are also incredibly soft. This makes biting them effortless.
But why are pears so soft? Are they supposed to be that way, or should they be firmer?
We’ve dug into the roots of this question and will reveal the answer to you. You might be surprised to learn the truth underneath pear texture.
Quick Answer: Why are Pears so Soft?
The softness of any given pear depends on two factors: the variety of pear and its ripeness. Generally speaking, pears soften as they ripen.
Some types of pear will grow softer than others, too. Starkrimson and Red Bartlett pears, for example, are some of the softest pears you’ll find.
In comparison, Bosc pears are quite firm, even when fully ripe.
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How to Determine if a Pear is Ripe
Ideally, you should eat pears when they’re ripe. Eating them before they’ve had time to ripen will lead to a harder, flavorless experience.
So how do you know if they’re ready to eat? Testing their ripeness is quick and easy.
According to USA Pears, all you need to do is practice this catchy slogan: check the neck. Holding the pear in your hand, lightly press on the neck (the thinner part where the stem comes out).
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If your pear is ripe, there should be a little give when you apply pressure. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the pear is unripe if it’s still hard.
Give unripe pears a little time. Continue to check them every day until they’ve ripened before eating them.
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Different Types of Pears and Their Textures
As we mentioned earlier, there are many different types of pear. The type of the pear influences how soft the pear is, as well as its flavor.
Some pear types are naturally firmer than others. Likewise, some pear types are less sweet. You can view USA Pear’s full list of types (as well as flavors and textures) here.
Looking for the softest pears? Then Bartlett, Red Bartlett, and Starkrimson will be your best bets.
And if you’d rather have firm pears, look for Seckel or Bosc pears.
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It’s important to choose pears that are ripe. If you choose pears that are under ripe, you’ll get something that’s overly crispy and not very flavorful.
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Choose a pear that’s overly ripe, on the other hand, and you’ll have something that’s too mushy to be pleasant.
While ripeness has a lot to do with softness, there’s also the type of pear to consider, too. If you don’t like soft pears, there are types you can choose which are a little harder.
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