Yesterday I was loving Asian pears so much I started looking for new ways to eat them. Rather than just juicy sweet lovely plain or alongside some thinly sliced parmesan cheese.
Last night we arrived back from a couple of days running around Punta Arenas, running errands, and looking for economical and scrumptious items to stock our cupboards. Even though it's a few degrees below freezing outside, the three-hour bus ride between Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas is inevitably muggy, claustrophobic and, occasionally, nauseating. Add being hungry to this, and it's just not very fun. When we finally got home, we whipped up some lentil-tumeric soup using a leftover lentil concoction from the vegetarian shepherd's pie I made during the week.
Afterward, I sliced up our last Asian pear and savored every crunchy bite. So happy to be home and eating this fruit that has nothing to do with this faraway part of the Earth. I know this isn't very ecological of me. But nearly all of our food travels down here via boat from Chile's northern valleys. (I'm sure most of your Haas avocados come from those valleys too!) For now, all I can say is c'est la vie and viva la pera!
Currently there is only one place in Puerto Natales where we can buy these delicious pomes, though not so delicately wrapped as in the photo above. Instead they are shoddily separated by pieces of white tissue paper. And sometimes surprise visitors. Eeek! The other day, as I inspected the yellow globe, a tijereta fell from it. An earwig. Sigh. It's part of living in a town with a serious earwig plague. And it is a plague. Today I went to replenish our Asian pear supply for some upcoming cooking endeavors sans alien invaders.
It's winter here, people, so we are eating winter things. Tonight I made a roasted beet and Asian pear salad with toasted almonds and arugula for a friend's going away (or traveling north!) party. But for all my pear obsession, what did I forget to layer in the salad? The Asian pears, newly purchased and still tumbled one atop another in my backpack. I was so concerned about preparing the salad in a way that the beats wouldn't turn into a gooey pink mess that I completely forgot key ingredient #2. So I'm about to cut one up and adorn the top of the salad with it now.