They don't really soften when ripening, nor do they get really fragrant. It's just been hit or miss with me - but is there a method to judge sweetness or ripeness?
Check near the stem because pears ripen from the inside out. It should be softer than the rest of the pear and it should have a pear fragrance. You can put them in a paper bag with a banana for two days and they'll certainly ripen.
Bosc pears don't really ripen after being picked; they simply get softer.
So when buying them, look for ones with a nice dark skin and a good aroma.
They will soften somewhat, but not as soft as an Anjou pear. You should be getting a nice aroma of sweetness from the Bosc pears when ripe.
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