How to cook pears
Pears are great raw, roasted, sautéed, or used in baked goods. Like apples, different pears are good for different cooking applications.
How to buy pears
Look for pears void of cuts or bruises, and are firm when pressed. To tell if a pear is ripe, gently press where the stem meets the top of the pear. If it gives slightly, the pear is ripe.
How to store pears
For ripe pears, store in the refrigerator and use within the week. For mature pears, place in the refrigerator for a couple of days, then keep at room temperature to ripen. If you’re looking to ripen pears in a hurry, place in a brown paper bag with a banana for a couple of days.
I find it easy to bypass pears during fall (their peak season) because apples tend to be more popular. However, pears can make a lovely addition to snacks, baking, and breakfast. Pears, unlike apples, do not ripen on the tree and instead can ripen in your kitchen. Ripe pears should be stored in the crisper, while mature pears should be left at room temperature to ripen from the inside out. Just check daily, as an overly ripe pear can be off putting.
In terms of varieties, Bartlett pears are the most universally used, primarily for their sweet flavor and ability to cook into a soft consistency. Anjou pears are my snacking preference, as they are crisp and sweet, while Bosc pears best when you want a beautiful presentation (because they hold their shape).