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When choosing a quality Asian pear, the sense of smell is heavily utilized. Asian pears should release a strong, sweet scent upon inhalation, though the fruit's odor will be weaker if kept cold. Pear firmness should be quite hard, and optimal pear color will vary from yellow to green depending upon the specific variety of Asian pear.
Though Asian pears are very firm, they should not be handled roughly during selection as they are apt to bruise easily. Bringing the pear close to the face and deeply smelling its aroma is the best way to ascertain if it is a good piece of fruit or not. Pears that release little to no smell will exhibit inferior flavor qualities and should not be purchased, while those that provide an immediate, vivid sweetness will likely yield the tastiest results.
Over 25 varieties of this juicy fruit exist, so evaluating coloration differences between them can be tricky. Some varieties of Asian pear, such as the russet types, should be a very dark, golden brown color. If the Asian pears are of a smooth and round variety, yellow is the optimal color to choose, while narrower smooth fruit should be a light green hue.
Asian pears should exhibit an apple shape, providing them with the alternative name, apple pear. If the term apple pear is used to label the fruit, the product should still be of good quality as long as it meets the other qualifications of smell and color. Depending upon the variety sought, each flavor will also differ, from sweet, juicy notes to citrus flavors.
Seasonality may also affect the quality of the Asian pear. These pears are considered to be in season during the summer and autumn months. Pears that have not been stored in a cool, dry place may also be inferior fruit, as Asian pears do require refrigeration prior to being sold in order to ensure their best quality. To fully ripen the pears, they may be stored in a very dry, cool container, such as a brown grocery bag. Once purchased, fruit may also be stored at room temperature, or continually refrigerated for up to three months prior to being served.
As with any other fruit, Asian pears with broken skin or missing pieces should not be purchased. These may be contaminated and will likely worsen during the ripening process, if used. An Asian pear that is already softened or wrinkled should also be avoided.
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