Tuesday, 12 October 2010
So what exactly is quince? Well, it's fair to say that most people don't have a clue but those who do would say that it in an old English fruit made popular in Tudor times (and Tudor rhymes!) and others would say it is the main ingredient, along with sugar and lemon juice, to a popular Spanish accompaniment to cheese, called 'Membrillo'. Indeed this is true, but what else can I tell you about this knobbly looking giant apple? The Quince is a relative of both the pear and apple and the ripe fruit resembles a very large, yellowish apple. The tree is native to countries such as Iran (woohoo!), Turkey, Syria, Bulgaria and Greece but to name a few, although Turkey are now the world leaders in Quince production.
Usually Quince must be cooked, but my Mother was regaling tales of eating them uncooked - which I would not recommend. The fruit makes wonderful jam and chutney as well as being a great accompany to roasted meats such as pork and chicken. But Persians like to make stews of everything we can lay our hands on and this is exactly how I first came across Quince, nestled in between slow-braised hunks of lamb in a sweet and savoury sauce.
Quinces are greatly underused in this country and I encourage you all to try roasting them by coring and cutting the Quince into quarters, skin on and drizzling with olive oil, seasonsing with salt and roasting them for 45 mins in a preheated oven on 180 degrees. Serve with a nice roasted chicken or maybe even pork belly... delicious.
Posted by Sabrina Ghayour at 11:55