Pears are fresh and delicious

October 24, 2007|By LYNN LITTLE

Fresh pears are great for fall eating, especially if you appreciate a healthy snack or meal accompaniment. You can find pears in most markets or grocery stores.

When shopping for fresh pears, Bartlett, Bosc, Comice and Anjou are the varieties found most often. When selecting pears, choose firm fruit, as the color of a pear does not represent how ripe it is. Bartlett pears turn from green to yellow when they are ripe. Some varieties of pears that are red in color will turn from dark to bright red. Still other varieties might not change color at all when they ripen.

To determine ripeness, gently press your thumb into the stem end, applying gentle pressure to the pear. If it's hard, it's not ripe. When it yields to the pressure, it's ready to eat. To ripen all variety of pears, place in a paper bag at room temperature. Ripening should take two to five days.


Pears are easy to store and don't require refrigeration, unless they are ripe. You can store pears three to five days in the refrigerator.

Pears are convenient to use. You can eat them with or without the peel. Eating the peel is recommended; it adds extra fiber to your diet.

Nutritionally, one unpeeled medium pear has 103 calories and 5 1/2 grams of fiber. Pears are fat-free, cholesterol-free and a good source of vitamin C. Like most fresh fruit, pears are also low in sodium.

You can visit the California Bartlett pears Web site - - for more information and recipes for pears. If you would like information about fruits and vegetables, visit

Lynn Little is a family and consumer sciences educator with University of Maryland Cooperative Extension in Washington County.

Broiled Pear and Swiss Cheese Sandwich

6 slices low-calorie whole-wheat bread
6 slices of 2 percent Swiss cheese
2 medium pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Toast bread. Place cheese slices on each piece of toast. Arrange sliced pears on cheese. Mix sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle on pears. Broil about 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve hot.

Serves 6.

Nutrition information per serving: 144 calories, 9 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 220 milligrams calcium, 90 milligrams potassium, 111 milligrams sodium.

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