Quince, The Forgotten Fruit

We have two quince (Cydonia oblonga) trees, one in the front garden, IMG_1469one in the back.  I did not know much about them before we moved here.  Last year I didn’t even pick the fruit, unsure what to do with them.

The quince has been around for an incredible 3,000 years.  They arrived in England during the 13th century but quickly lost out in popularity to apples and pears.  The reason for their decline is probably because they take so long to ripen.  However, in Britain, quince marmalade was being made up until 1790, when orange marmalade replaced it.

This autumn, I was a little more organised and picked the fruit from both trees.  I stored the fruit in boxes; they need to be kept for about six weeks before they can be used and the fruit shouldn’t touch.  The distinctive aroma from the quinces promised the taste would be worth waiting for.  But, within a couple of weeks it was clear that the fruit was decaying; I guess I must have placed them too near each other.  So much for turning the quince into something delectable.  I guess the taste of this forgotten fruit will have to wait until next year.


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