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), adding water as it becomes necessary to maintain the same level. 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.