From Philadelphia, we headed west to the chilly city of Chicago on our sixth stop in The Time is Ripe for Pears Tour. The city’s trademark wind was in full force, but so was the enthusiasm of local pear fans!
On our first night in Chicago, I was treated to a delicious local delicacy: a pizza pot pie. Yep, that’s right; it’s all the tasty toppings of a pizza—plum tomatoes, peppers, garlic, whole mushrooms, sausage—wrapped up inside a doughy bundle and set inside a dish to bake. When it’s finished, they bring it to your table inside the dish and gently coax it out onto your plate. It’s so good! If you’re ever in the Windy City, check it out: Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. And order the Mediterranean Bread!
On Thursday, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the impressively sleek Blackbird Restaurant. Chef David Posey (below) treated us to a meal just as impressive. My favorite course was the Seared Bass with Clams, Glazed Parsnips, and Pears (also below). Luckily for you, I get to share the recipe here!
That evening, we bundled up to head to Pastoral Artisan Cheese in the Loop, where we sampled Bosc, Anjou, and Starkrimson pears along with some complementary cheese choices, courtesy of our friends at Pastoral. The pairings were excellent, but don’t take my word for it! Check out this video to see what these tasters had to say. And note: I’m not the only one who uses, er, cheesy pear puns!
They also drew this darling little sign to spread the word. Curious to learn more about which cheeses you should pair with pears? Watch this short video to see what we sampled in Chicago, and click here for more pairing inspearation.
All in all, we had a great trip to Chicago — and we’re very excited for our last two stops here in the Pacific Northwest! If you’re in the area, make sure you visit us! We’ll be here in Portland on Friday and sampling at Beecher’s Cheese in Seattle the following week. More info here.