Ripening European Pears
Compared to other fruits, pears are unique because they are resistant to ripening right after harvest and will not ripen evenly until they have had a period of chilling. Without some postharvest chilling, a mature fruit will simply shrivel and decompose without ripening. Bartlett pears need to be refrigerated for only a day or two, whereas winter pears such as D'anjou, Bosc, and Comice require 2 to 6 weeks of refrigeration. Pears purchased in the supermarket have already had their chilling requirement. Pears should be ripened at 65 to 75°F and high humidity. The length of time required for ripening differs with variety: 5 days for Bartlett, 7 days for Bosc and Comice and 9 days for D'Anjou. Pears are ready to eat when the fruit flesh just below the stem yields slightly to pressure when squeezed.