I posted this on Fodor's too and no one knew what the hell I was talking about! My boyfriend and I ate lunch at a restaurant in Venice. He ordered a cheese plate, and in the center of the plate was a small dish containing the most bizarre concoction: preserved pears with GARLIC. It was so, so odd tasting, but I love garlic and so I really gave it a chance. Anyone know what this is, or experienced it before? It was a great restaurant, and according to our hotel manager frequented mostly by locals. I'm guessing this was some sort of palate-cleansing mixture but...maybe they were just playing a joke on us!! Someone at Fodor's thought it might be Mostarda (which he was adamant in claiming was in no way a mustard). I don't really know what that is, but this was preserved pear (pieces of pear that had been preserved) in some kind of garlicky liquid (there weren't actual pieces of garlic, if I remember correctly--it just reeked of the stuff--yumm).