I had this boss who used to worry about things going "pear-shaped". I still don't know what he was talking about, and I was always kinda worried he was talking about me. There are so many different varieties of pears, it is hard to know where to start.
But, the first thing to realize is that a pear does not ripen like a peach. So, how do you test for ripeness? Push your finger down at the stem and see if it gives. A pear ripens from the inside out (crazy, no?) and when the pear is soft on the outside it is probably overripe and mushy.
So, now that you know how to test for pear ripeness, which ones should you buy? Well, I say, buy one of each and figure out which are your favorite. Bartlett, Anjou, and Bosc are some of the easiest to find ones.
At only 81 calories for a cup of slices, go ahead and try two different ones for an exciting snack. (Hey, you can be adventurous when you want to be.)
If you are serving these to children, you want to avoid pears that are not organic because they are heavily sprayed and soak up pesticides. Choose organic pears whenever possible.