As beautiful as China is I cannot blog while there as blogger sites are blocked by the Communist Party of China (as is Facebook, my e-mail, Twitter, etc.). As such, I'm proud to announce Vanilla Garlic's first ever guest posts.
This second of two guest posts was written by my partner in culinary crime Stephanie Stiavetti. Her blog, The Culinary Life, is one filled with Gluten-Free Recipes and plenty of wit. She's also a well-known expert on the subject of SEO and an amazing freelance web and tech guru. So much so she's spoken on the subjects at many blogging conferences and has been hired by many big name bloggers you've definitely heard of.
Now, Stephanie and I agree on a lot of things. However, one of the few things we do disagree on is the subject of pears. I think they kick ass. She wants them expunged from human taste.
Except, that is, for one particular exception...
My name is Stephanie and I'm a sugar addict.
My family is bred of fine, sugar-obsessed stock, and as a result, I'm one of those people who finds themselves elbow-deep in a bowl of M&Ms before consciously realizing there's candy in the room.
As I've gotten older health issues have forced me to seriously scale back on my sugar intake, and this unfortunate fact has put a damper on my culinary enjoyment.
Avoiding sugar has been a struggle, especially with tempting blogs (such as this one) occupying my attention every day. Yet summer is an easy time of year to avoid refined sugar because we're surrounded by so much fruit that it's impossible to ignore the bounty of fresh stonefruit, berries, and jams that dominate produce displays. As summer turns cool, though, our natural sweets selection changes. White nectarines give way to apples, and root vegetables start replacing the colorful berries that monopolize local farmers markets from June through August.
While I find it terribly depressing to see summer fruit season end, there's a shining light piercing the early dusk of these chilly September evenings: Asian pears.
First, a confession - I hate pears. HATE them. Their gritty texture makes me want to rip every tooth out of my mouth and hurl them across the room. When I was little, my mom would try to feed me pears and I'd projectile spew them straight into her lap. So, as you can imagine, I was a little trepidatious about trying Asian pears.
I remembered seeing Asian pears at the grocery store as a kid; the produce manager would wrap each individual pear in a stretchy foam sleeve to keep the delicate flesh from bruising as the fruits sat stacked in shoulder-high mountains. I can't tell you how many times my grandmother smacked me up beside the head for stealing those sleeves, sliding them up my arms and running around the produce section like I was the ninja protectress of our local Safeway. As a staunch pear-hater, that was the only pleasant pear memory I had filed away in my mind.