Across India, several Christian communities prepare sweet homemade wines for the festive season from a rich array of local fruit, roots and grain. Above, a glass of golden pineapple wine.
Courtesy Merwyn Mascarenhas
In October, Hilda Mascarenhas, who writes a popular food blog in Pune, India, began her Christmas preparations with an unusual request to her fruit seller.
After buying a pineapple, she asked the vendor to separately pack the peel and eyes that he had skillfully removed with his long knife.
Hilda’s husband, Merwyn, though accustomed to his wife’s culinary experiments, was as mystified as the fruit seller. What did the thick, thorny peel and tongue-lacerating eyes, normally discarded as waste, have to do with Christmas?
He found out a month later when presented with a delicious little glass of golden…