Pears are members of the pome fruit family and can be separated into three groups: the common European pears, Asian pears and snow pears which are used principally for perry (a drink similar to cider). Asian pears are crisper  than the common pear, often resembling an apple.  

Unlike apples, pears do  not ripen well on the tree and are usually hard and green, they are usually held in cool storage room temperature. They store very well in the mature but unripen state, but kept too long in that state they will fail to ripen normally or rot internally. 
Unripe pears should be stored in the refrigerator, ripened as required and then eaten within a few days. Pears that are very deep green may have been immature when picked and will never ripen fully.  

Pears bruise very easily when ripe; over-stored will be brown inside.  

Most recipe books offer a selection of recipes for pears including crumbles, pies and classic desserts such as pears in red wine or with chocolate sauce.

In a microwave they should be cooked in syrup flavored with lemon or spice,  in a covered casserole dish, for about five minutes until tender.

They are also good raw in fruit salads in combination with grapes, peaches and other seasonal fruit. Halved and cored pears can provide natural container for stuffing with cream cheese, dates, nuts or other fruits.



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