September’s an apple bonanza. But October belongs to pears. Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Seckel, Forelle, Concorde, Starkrimson—take your pick.

Pears are harvested unripe because most become gritty if left to ripen on the tree. So let them hang out on the countertop or—if you want to move things along—in a paper bag. (That traps the ethylene gas they emit, which speeds ripening. Adding a banana helps.)

Then “check the neck,” as pear mavens like to say. Pears are ripe when the flesh around the stem yields to gentle pressure from your thumb. By the time the bottom half is soft, the inside may be overripe.

Bosc pears “give” less than others when ripe. Their crispness makes them perfect for cooking or salads.

Fun fact: A typical medium pear with its skin has 6 grams of fiber. That beats an apple or a cup of blueberries (4 grams) or an orange or banana (3 grams).

Two lesser-known varieties:

  • Seckel. The smallest pears—a few bites, max—are the sweetest. Talk about a pear-fect snack.
  • Asian. With their round shape, firm and crisp flesh, and sweet tartness, they could pass for a juicy, crunchy apple. Unlike other pears, they’re picked ripe, so you can eat them right away. Try one sliced in a leafy green salad or slaw.

Needless to say, we’re big pear fans. Have you seen our logo?

Photo: cynoclub/