26 November 2011

54. Quinces

Dear quinces,

You are such weird, wonderful fruit!

I am really excited to have found you at the farm store down the street from my brother's place in Vermont. It cracks me up that I've looked for you at farmers' markets and in stores all over New York freaking City, only to randomly run across four beautiful examples of you when I was just looking for some high-quality maple syrup as a thank-you gift for our neighbor who checked in on the cats while we were up in the frozen North for Thanksgiving. But whatever! I have three of you now, and that is awesome.

Quinces, I am just fascinated by the way you're almost inedible raw, but sublimely delicious cooked. When I first got a chance to play with you, a little less than a year ago, on a visit to my friends Christine and Kevin in Davis, CA, I accidentally gave Peter a gnarly surprise in the form of a raw piece of you. He was expecting your kinfruit apple, which is what it looked like, but got something whose only taste resemblance was the worst possible: as if an apple had gotten ridiculously mealy-overripe and dried out to the point of tasting flavorless and feeling cottony... he actually spit it out. So yeah, that wasn't good. But I scored a big recovery when I sliced and stewed the rest of you, to serve on toast with broiled Manchego cheese (a traditional pairing in Spain, I'm told).

You undergo a beautiful, almost alchemical transformation in response to heat, quinces, turning anywhere from blush-pink to deep ruby-red, but you knew that and I still wanted to praise it anyway. Yes, I quite look forward to adventure-cooking with you again. And I will! Soon! Yaaaaaay!


Started and published 26 November 2011, last updated 6 June 2014.