When I was growing up, there was a guava tree behind our house. We could literally reach out of our window and pluck one out to eat. Of course, being that these guavas grew so close to our impatient childish hands, they never saw maturity. Nevertheless, guavas on branches that were out of reach of our marauding hands did ripen and give children of the neighbourhood a wonderful time. They were eaten washed, unwashed (children plucking and eating them? That’s what happens), cut, whole. But none reaches out to me across the years as clearly as eating a guava at just the right ripeness – not too ripe, not too raw – quartered, salt and red chilli powder smeared on the insides.
In my continuing quest to find a pear that M will eat, I bought Bartlett pears. No go. I was admiring this beautiful green fruit with white interiors and marvelling at how anyone can refuse to eat it. Suddenly, the years fell away. I was about 8. I was looking at a guava, trying to find salt and red chilli powder to dip it in. And sit down to savour it. Back to the present, I wondered if I could do the same with the pear. I did, and turns out, a Bartlett pear has just the right texture. If you’ve eaten guava whole, you know that with each bite, there is the smooth white flesh, and the hard seeds. Likewise, this pear has a grainy texture to it.