Although its name (in Spanish) suggests that Pera-Piña (Pineapple and Rice Drink) is made from pears, in reality, it has been given this name because its taste and texture resembles that of pear juice.
It took me a long time to figure out that Pera-Piña (Pineapple and Rice Drink) wasn't a drink my mom -- a frugal woman if there was ever one -- made up to get rid of pineapple peels and cores, just as she would find ways to use nearly everything this side of edible. I really, really believed we were the only ones drinking this.
Not that I didn't like it, mind you, I loved it, but I thought my mom was using us as a garbage disposal of sorts. So I pretended I disliked it. Now I am sure that my mom wasn't buying the act, an empty glass doesn't really spell disgust.
About this recipe
I have no idea who came up with this drink, or where it came from. The origin of its name is pure speculation on my part. I don't know if there's anyone out there who makes it significantly different from this one either, so if family has another version, I'd love to hear about it.
Pera-Piña Recipe (Pineapple and Rice Juice)
- Peel and core of 1 pineapple (see notes)
- 1/2 cup of rice
- 1 gal [4.5 lt] of water
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of sugar (or to taste)
- Cutting: Cut the pineapple peel and core into small pieces.
- Boiling: Mix pineapple with rice and 2 quarts [2 lt] of water in a large pot. Simmer covered over low heat until the rice is very tender and has tripled in size (about 20 minutes after it breaks the boil). Remove from the heat.
- Straining: Add vanilla extract, and let it cool to room temperature, blend until all the ingredients are liquified. Strain and discard the solids. Add sugar to taste.
- Serving: Serve chilled.