I’m officially tired of hearty, earthy rustic food; that is, winter food. But many of the alternatives are either artificially flavored and sweetened, are imported under refrigeration for long distances or both. And that’s before we get to the plastic. (So much for the frozen berries that lighten many a table this time of year.)
Which is why I love the sweet, chewy goodness of guava paste. It’s ticker than cranberry sauce, and has one of the “tropical” flavors you find in Hawaiian Punch. It’s not health food, but it is sugar-sweetened. It is imported — the Goya brand I like comes from the Dominican Republic — but it is canned, so shelf-stable. And California is farther from me than the Dominican Republic. And because it’s canned, it doesn’t have any more plastic than what might line the can. (Which is a problem, but not one I can solve right now.) Served with a mild white cheese and bread or crackers, it makes one of those filling deserts — like rice pudding — that can fill out an otherwise skimpy dinner. Like a rustic winter soup.
Or for that matter, I like cranberry sauce. There’s no law that says it only needs to be eaten at Thanksgiving.