04 April 2006

Quinces ripen

Still downy, a quince's bottom:
Yes, quinces are lovely baked slowly, stewed Persian style with lamb, or reduced with lots of sugar to make quince paste; but I suggest that you save one quince from these treatments. Don't bake it, sugar it, honey it, smother it, or change it in any way.

Let it sit by your favourite reading place till you can smell its perfume when you enter the room.

Then get out your favourite fruit knife and eat that quince slowly, thin slice by thin slice. Yes, it's slightly bitter, but so is coffee. Yes, it's slightly astringent, but so is tea and wine, and if you don't like those tastes, you'll hate raw quince.

And no, I don't like half-raw-half-burnt so-called 'grilled' fruit and veg. But a raw quince is as good as great cheese, and by the way, goes well with slivers of cheese. Try it with gjetost.

Or eat it with a sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper.

I love eating quince raw slice by raw slice—the knife is my favourite quince treatment. All of the quince's unique smell is retained. The sound of the knife going through the flesh is something I enjoy, as is holding the fruit in my hand. It is a wonderful feeling fruit, having a quite human skin.

The mouth-feel of raw quince is wonderful, too, if you like it (and I love it).

On cold days, though, there's nothing to beat baked quince and oatmeal with cream.

Note: about the Quince, there's never a last word. Here's more about them on Medlar Comfits:
Consider the quince in hot weather
What to do with a frozen quince
A portrait of two beauties
The Medlar Comfits Cooking Guide – Lesson 1: Peppering and larding


Jane said...

Thank you for this.... raw quince, which I love, reminds me of my childhood when I "stole" quinces from a local tree and ate them under the grape vines by the fence... the quincy perfume still takes me back to that viney fence by the chickens' yard.

anna tambour said...

Thank you for your romantic memories. Of course *stolen* fruit has a special zing, but it's delightful to think of you biting into that sunwarmed astringent flesh to the accompaniment of chicken clucks. Your own blog is a feast. Kapunda Garden is much more than gardens. Your juxtaposition is delightful, such as in Quinces and alpaca wool and your own take on Ripe quinces

Your Kapunda Drawing is lovely, too, its drawings and paintings quietly sensitive as mimosas. I admire your linework as well as the colours you use. The Australian bush is more difficult to paint well than most people think, the colours of plants and light being much more subtle than usually depicted. I think your pictures are lyrical, evocative and true. Thanks again for taking the time to share your own tastes and experiences here, and for spending the efforts you do on your blogs.