In case you didn’t notice, summer in Boston is one of my favorite times of year. The weather is almost always perfect (knock on wood), and the notorious audacity of Boston’s residents is temporarily replaced with a warm conviviality. Fall is lovely, of course, and the fist snow of winter can be breathtaking; but I can’t get enough of this beautiful season. My relish for hosting parties is tenfold, and friends/coworkers who are around for the summer become the guinea pigs of my culinary adventures. I hosted one party this past weekend that was your all-American standard: burgers, beer, chips & salsa, etc. The dessert was a classic that allowed my southern heritage to really shine: Key Lime Pie.
Key Lime Pie is named for the use of the Floridian Key Lime…okay I confess, I didn’t use actual Key Limes to make this pie. I used an organic brand of regular lime juice that I had on hand. The primary difference between these citrus cousins is color and flavor. Unlike conventional limes, Key Limes are noted for their bitter, tart taste and for having a yellow to light green skin. Native to Southeast Asia, the Key Lime was introduced brought by Spanish explorers to the West Indies. The Florida Keys became a prominent location of harvest for the fruit, with the term “Key” being added to differentiate them from the traditional Persian cultivar.* I decided to split the difference by omitting a tablespoon or two of sugar to achieve a more tart filling. Check out how to make this fabulous recipe by clicking HERE.
In pairing this dish, I chose to acknowledge Spain and its role in introducing Key Limes to North America. Spain is a nation rich with culture and history, and its composers bring that wealth of culture to their music. One example is the music of Isaac Albéniz – a Catalan composer, pianist, and conductor whose efforts were instrumental in promoting Spanish music abroad. He is most well-known for his piano works, many of which were later transcribed for the guitar.** such is the case with the selection I chose: Asturias, from Suite española, Op. 47. This suite consists of eight movements, each representing a different region in Spain. Several of these movements are performed on guitar more often than piano, including Asturias.^ This “reinterpretation” of the original composition further compelled me to pair this work with my own “reinterpretation” of the original recipe. The recording I have included is by John Williams: not “Star Wars” John Williams, but perhaps the guitar soloist of his generation. Enjoy!
*”Key Lime.” Wikipedia.com
**”Isaac Albéniz,” Wikipedia.com
^”Suite española,” Wikipedia.com