It’s time to pre-pear for National Pear Month! These crisp, sweet and juicy fruits come in 10 different varieties found throughout the U.S. With all these options, there’s sure to be a favorite for everyone!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recognizes December as national pear month because it is the harvest season for all kinds of Northwest Pears. The Pear Bureau Northwest started this monthlong holiday in 2011 because a survey showed that 84% of shoppers do not know how to tell whether a pear is ripe.
To figure out which pears are ripe when picking some up for yourself, apply some pressure to the neck of the pear and if it yields to pressure it’s ripe. Interestingly, pears are one of the few fruits that do not fully ripen on the tree. According to The Pear Bureau Northwest, “The pear is harvested when it is mature, but not yet ripe, and, if left at room temperature, it slowly reaches a sweet and succulent maturity as it ripens from the inside out.”
Once the fruit is ripe, it can be refrigerated and used for up to five days afterward, so you have more time to take in all the wonderful health benefits a pear can offer!
Pears can be an excellent source of fiber, with a medium pear having 6 grams of fiber, accounting for 24% of the daily recommended amount. They are also rich in vitamin C, which is essential for a multitude of functions such as fighting off infections and promoting cell growth and repair, To top it all off, they’re free of sodium, fat and cholesterol. So, next time you need to make a grocery run, be sure to grab a few pears—your heart (and stomach) will thank you!