Michelangelo’s Pears

  A few weeks ago, while driving through the Columbia Gorge on a rainy, dark evening, I turned the radio dial to NPR in hopes that I would be soothed by the programming. The Columbia Gorge (home to one of our pear growing regions) is beautiful, but that stretch of I-84 is winding and narrow, pocked with rain-filled tire ruts and shared by streaming, slow-moving semis. At the time, I was white-knuckling the steering wheel, trying to feel less tense about the constant mist impeding my already reduced vision at dusk, when I felt myself perk up at a mention of pears. The program was Travel with Rick Steves, and Rick’s guest Fred Plotkin was talking about the simple pleasures of food in Italy. Fred is the author of “Italy for the Gourmet Traveler.” He is currently writing a book Continue reading