Harvesting and storage
European pear varieties ripen best off the tree. Fruit that is left on the tree doesn't develop
full flavor. Pick the fruit when it is green and hard but of mature size for the variety. The stem
should break off the spur easily when the fruit is twisted upward. If the spur breaks off the tree,
the fruit is not ready to pick. Allow the fruit to ripen in a cool place in a fruit ripening bowl
or paper bag. You may store fall-ready varieties for several weeks in cold storage (below 40° F)
and bring them out for ripening at room temperature.
Asian varieties should be allowed to ripen on the tree. The fruit will generally turn from green
to yellow and the flesh should be sweet and juicy. Asian pears will hold on the tree for quite
a while after they have ripened. It is better however, to keep them in cold storage until ready
to eat. Asian pears can be stored for several months, depending on variety.