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The pear is believed to have originated in China, and is a close relative to the apple. The skins can either be yellow, green, brown, red, or some combination of these colors. The most common varieties available in the U.S. are the Bosc, Bartlett, Anjou and Comice pears.

Pears are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, copper, and vitamin K. In fact, one large pear will give you 29% of the daily recommended value of fiber! Aside from its role in maintaining healthy digestion, fiber has also been known to lower cholesterol and bind to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. (Read more about fiber on World's Healthiest Foods and get your nutrition facts on


Pears actually ripen best once they are removed from the tree, and are usually picked before they reach their peak ripeness.

Keep pears at room temperature for best flavor and even ripening. If you want to keep them a few days longer, store them in the refrigerator.

How to know when pears are ripe:
Check the neck! Apply gentle thumb pressure near the neck, or stem end. If it yields slightly, it's ripe!