Quinces look like over-sized pears and apples, going from green to yellow as they ripen. They are often called the ugly cousins and I just don’t get that. I think there’s something so beautiful about the strong and natural look, like stone carvings from 16th century. To me, they’re picturesque in a regal and classic way.

Three quince

I started seeing Quince in the Farmer’s Market, usually appearing in October and aren’t available for long. You can buy them green and allow them to ripen on your counter (cool and dry spot, away from other fruit). They start with a fuzz, that falls off as they turn yellow, and some blemishes may start to appear. I guess that’s just like all of us, as we ripen, only we don’t  produce  a wonderful scent as we age. Quince start to emit a wonderful perfume of apple and pear, or Sophia (my brother’s girlfriend) described it as apple gum or candy.

Quince Macro 2

Once they’re ready, most still don’t eat it raw because they’re quite tart, but they can be poached, baked, or pureed (with additional sugar) to make pie, crisps, cobblers, pastes, and jams, which I will get to as soon as mine ripen. (I haven’t decided which yet so feel free to influence me.)

Three quince 4

Go and get some quince so you can enjoy the sights and smells, and be ready for Part 2 (now up!).

posted by jessica at 10:24 AM Filed under Basics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.