Bartlett pears are deliciously tangy, sweet, smooth, and juicy. Bartletts are one of the most versatile pears as they are both a wonderful eating and cooking pear. They maintain their texture for whatever application you choose. Color can range from dark to bright red, or light green to yellow.
There are two main families of pears: European and Asian. European is the most common and what we think of when referring to a pear with their elongated neck and a rounded bulbous bell shape on the bottom half (pyriform). Asian pears, on the other hand, look more like apples and are sometimes referred to as Apple Pears. Bartlett pears are in the European pear family and also known as “Williams Pears.”
The best way to check for ripeness is to press on the stem end, if it yields to gentle pressure and it smells like a pear—you’re ready to go.
Different pear varieties have different kitchen roles and selecting the best one for the job can make a difference. Please see Produce 101: Pears for more info on the different varieties of pears, as well as the best way to ripen pears.
When handling pears, take care. They are highly susceptible to bruising and scarring, as well as skin slip, so don’t stack heavy things on top of the cases, don’t drop the cases. Treat them delicately, especially when ripe.
The recommended optimum storage temperature is 32° – 40°F. The temperature fluctuates from the front to the back of the cooler due to the location of the cooling unit and frequency of the door being opened. Download our PDF for more cooler storage hints. Pears produce a lot of ethylene—keep them away from sensitive items to maximize the produce shelf-life of everything in your cooler.
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