Friday, October 26, 2012
Probably the most talked about fruit we grow in our orchards are Quince. "What is a Quince?" is almost a daily question once the tree planted next to the driveway starts bearing fruit. Forget about the thousands of other trees...it's that one tree that draws attention the most. It looks like a fuzzy cross between an apple and a pear...many a customer is awfully surprised when they sneak one off the tree...bite into it and look out! It's not that apple pear taste they expected!
I googled the definition...not so sure the Wikipedia version is as accurate as mine, I'm sure there are several hybrid varieties since the pilgrims. (I learned that quince was a staple item on the ships to help prevent scurvy...sounds good to me, don't quote me on that though)
Quince also appeared in a favorite children's poem, "The Owl And The Pussycat", ... "they dined on mince and slices of quince" ...
Personally, I don't see how they could dine on quince...straight off the tree, it's very very bitter....that being said, it is a favorite with certain cultures. Quince are used in soups and stews in the Russian community, and the Mexican culture likes to sprinkle cayenne pepper on raw slice as a snack. So what are they used for?
Jelly. Hands down, this is MY favorite jelly! It's honey colored juice produces a rich golden jelly that is not only sweet on your morning toast, but makes a unique flavored condiment on sandwiches and meats as well. The taste is indescribable. It's one of those flavors you just have to try to understand!
My suggestion would be...if ever given the opportunity to try the jelly...you should! It's well worth it!