What's a quince? Simply Quince gives the fruit's history, its migration from the Old World to the New, and shows traditional and new ways to prepare the fruit. "Marmelo in Portuguese, coing in French, quitte in German, ayva in Turkish, and sergevil in Armenian - across the globe, the fruit-bearing quince tree (Cydonia oblonga)is cultivated and prized for its versatility in the kitchen." (from Simply Quince, introduction)
The raw fruit is astringent and mouth pucking and hardly ever eaten as a fresh fruit. Quince is delicous when poached, baked, put into preserves, or cooked in many other ways.
What I learned from this cookbook: Quince can be put into salads, stews, condiments, compotes and preserves, pies and tarts. Some of the recipes in this cookbook include quince jam and quince apple pie, roast pork tenderloin with quince and root vegetables, lamb-stuffed quince dolmas, and duck breasts with quince-sambal chutney. Let's not forget carmelized quince upside down cake and quince infused spirits, grappa and vodka!
My experiences with quince: I fell in love with the fruit, quince, as a sweet jelly with its unusual but delicious flavor. I fell in love with the tree when I saw the beautiful coral pink blossoms every spring as I walked my dog past a neighbor's prolific flowering quince tree. The tree bore lots of fruit in the summer but they were never harvested for cooking. I picked one up about five years ago and planted the seeds. Today I have two small bushes. One of the trees has borne blossoms and two small fruit two seasons now. I hope for increasing blooms and fruit with each new season.
My quince tree however may very be the flowering ornamental quince, prized for its showy coral blooms and not for the fruit. The fruit-bearing quince tree that has edible fruit has white or pink flowers; the tree is best gotten from a nursery. Simply Quince has recommendations for places to buy trees and quince products.
Barbara Ghazarian has created a community of quince lovers, Team Quince, and directs us to her website, Queen of Quince, which offers quince food products. Ghazarian is also author of Simply Aremenian: Naturally Healthy Ethnic Cooking Made Easy.
For a link to an interview with Barbara and a February GIVEAWAY of two copies of Simply Quince, click here.
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