Last week, we brought The Time is Ripe for Pears tour to our hometown, Portland! On Thursday, we were treated to an amazing luncheon at Castagna, where the food looked more like art. Take the starter, for example. We were presented with this of-the-earth ceramic bowl (which I secretly wanted to smuggle home in my purse – after licking it clean, of course).
The bowl contained drops of tangy yogurt, cubed Comice pear, and wisps of fennel. I was excited with this unusual starter, but it wasn’t done yet! Our server placed a box in the center of our table that contained little packets. Pear packets. No joke – they were made of dehydrated pear and filled with granola, and we were told to crumble them over our yogurt. Gladly!
The meal continued on in a similarly jaw-dropping fashion. One of my favorite courses was this salad, for which you’ll see the recipe here very soon! I would encase this in glass and hang it on the wall of my cube.
Here’s a video of wizard chef Justin Woodward explaining how pears fit into his molecular, seasonal approach to delighting his customers:
The next day, we headed out to our local New Seasons Market, which we love for its friendly staff and amazing range and quality of goods, including, of course, pears. Right now, in the thick of pear season, they had eight varieties for sale!
Lunchtime shoppers loved the pears (and the impromptu ripening education):
We’re in Seattle this week for our last tour stop. If you’re near, join us this Friday between 4 and 6 p.m. at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Pike Place Market – we’ll be sampling three sweet and juicy varieties of USA Pears with expert-selected cheese pairings!
And don’t forget to enter our sweepstakes now! There’s just one week left in the sweeps, and YOU could win fresh pears or a trip for two to enjoy the culinary delights of one of these eight great cities! Click here to join!