(Nov. 21) A new ripeness guide published by the Pear Bureau Northwest, under the USA Pears brand, educates consumers on when to eat bartletts.

The Bartlett Pear Ripeness Guide features colored panels with die-cut windows to compare the skin color of a pear to the closest shade of green or yellow on the guide to determine its ripeness.

The guide comes in two formats. One is the size of a credit card, to be carried in a wallet or purse. The other is larger and pear-shaped, with a metal eyelet so retailers can attach it to displays.

“We designed this for people to feel more comfortable eating their pears at a ripeness level they enjoy,” said Kevin Moffitt, president and chief executive officer of the Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie, Ore. “We’ve found that about one-third likes them crunchy and tart and about another one-third likes them softer, sweeter and juicier.”

The Pear Bureau Northwest will distribute them through supermarket promotional activities like sampling events and through consumer shows, lifestyle shows and nutrition shows.

“Usually money doesn’t exchange hands,” Moffitt said. “We’d supply a retailer based on a commitment to promote the fruit.”

Free samples of the ripeness guide are available via e-mail at info@usapears.com, by phone at (503) 652-9720, or by visiting www.usapears.com.