It's flu season again, so time to give the immune system a boost with cheap vitaminc C sources. Quality pears are by no means cheap, but guavas are grown locally and does wonders for the immune system.

Pear and Guava smoothie

Since gigantic crunchy juicy chinese gong pears (RM 2.49 per piece at Jusco) seem to be out of season, I've gone with Packham pears (RM 1.60 per piece) which are soft and extremely sweet. The Korean ones are delicious too. The dark brown Gingko pears are rougher but still juicy, and Forelle pears are just meh.

Nontheless they are all great for nomming, juicing, cooking, baking, and for salads. Pear marinated chicken? yum! Pear upside down cake? yum! Pear with bacon and grilled cheese? yum!

Korean Honey Golden Pear

My obsession with pears started ever since reading an 8 page conversation between Beatrice and Virgil about pears from a book by Yann Martel which is really worth the read despite low ratings on Goodreads. I accidentally bought this novel at the Big Bad Wolf book sale because I wanted to see what the big deal was with the Life of Pi.

Turned out to be an underrated novel not about the life of Pi, but of the equally tragic yet intriguing lives of Beatrice and Virgil. Below is an excerpt that will make you want to eat pears.
(Virgil and Beatrice are sitting at the foot of a tree.
They are looking out blankly.
Virgil What I'd give for a pear.
Beatrice A pear?
Virgil Yes. A ripe and juicy one.
Beatrice I'd never had a pear.
Virgil What?
Beatrice In fact, I don't think I've ever set eyes on one.
Virgil How is that possible? It's a common fruit.
Beatrice My parents were always eating apples and carrots. I guess they didn't like pears.
Virgil But pears are so good! I bet you there's a pear tree right around here. (He looks about.)
Beatrice Describe a pear for me. What is a pear like?
Virgil (Settling back) I can try. Let's see... To start with, a pear has an unusual shape. It's round and fat on the bottom, but tapered on top.
Beatrice Like a guord.
Virgil A guord? You know guords but you don't know pears? How odd the things we know and don't. At any rate, no, a pear is smaller than an average guord, and its shape is more pleasing to the eye. A pear becomes tapered in a symmetrical way, its upper half sitting straight and centered atop its lower half. Can you see what I mean?
Beatrice I think so.
VirgilLet's start with the bottom half. Can you imagine a fruit that is round and flat?
BeatriceLike an apple?

This goes on for a while and I'll be violating some copyright laws so we skip to the last part of this dialogue ...

Beatrice Can one eat it?
Virgil Of course. We're not talking here of the waxy, thuggish skin of an orange. The skin of a pear is soft and yielding when ripe.
Beatrice And what does a pear taste like?
Virgil Wait. You must smell it first. A ripe pear breathes a fragrance that is watery and subtle, its power lying in the lightness of its impression upon the olfactory sense. Can you imagine the smell of nutmeg or cinnamon?
Beatrice I can.
Virgil The smell of a ripe pear has the same effect on the mind as these aromatic spices. The mind is arrested, spellbound, and a thousand and one memories and associations are thrown up as the mind burrows deep to understand the allure of this beguiling smell - which it never comes to understand, by the way.
Beatrice But how does it taste? I can't wait any longer.
Virgil A ripe pear overflows with sweet juiciness.
Beatrice Oh, that sounds good.
Virgil Slice a pear and you will find that its flesh is incandescent white. It glows with inner light. Those who carry a knife and a pear are never afraid of the dark.
Beatrice I must have one.
Virgil The texture of a pear, its consistency, is yet another difficult matter to put into words. Some pears are a little crunchy.
Beatrice Like an apple?
Virgil No, not at all like an apple! An apple resists being eaten. An apple is not eaten, it is conquered. The crunchiness of a pear is far more appealing. It is giving and fragile. To eat a pear is akin to … kissing.
Beatrice Oh, my. It sounds so good.
Virgil The flesh of a pear can be slightly gritty. And yet it melts in the mouth.
Beatrice Is such a thing possible?
Virgil With every pear. And that is only the look, the feel, the smell, the texture. I have not even told you of the taste.
Beatrice My God!
Virgil The taste of a good pear is such that when you eat one, when your teeth sink into the bliss of one, it becomes a wholly engrossing activity. You want to do nothing else but eat your pear. You would rather sit than stand. You would rather be alone than in company. You would rather have silence than music. All your senses but taste fall inactive. You see nothing, you hear nothing, you feel nothing - for only as it helps you to appreciate the divine taste of your pear.
Beatrice But what does it actually taste like?
Virgil A pear tastes like, it tastes like … (He struggles. He gives up with a shrug.) I don't know. I can't put it into words. A pear tastes like itself.
Beatrice (sadly) I wish you had a pear.
Virgil And if I had one, I would give it to you.


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