• Sunday, March 24, 2019

How to Eat Quince

September 30, 2013

This fragrant relative of the rose plant is laden with romantic mythology. In Ancient Greece quinces were considered to be a gift from Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and were frequently tossed into bridal chariots. 

As hard as diamonds, quinces cannot be eaten raw and require a slow cooking process. But the wait is well worth it, as the heat makes the quince’s flesh gradually turn bright red, as if it were blushing in anticipation of the abundant praise it will get when tasted. Before cooking, carefully peel and core the quinces, and immediately place them in a bowl of water that has the juice of one lemon (to prevent the flesh from oxidizing). Quinces can be poached in simple syrup, or slow roasted for about five hours. They’re already so fragrant that they hardly need any additional flavoring, but you can try adding some rose water, vanilla, or cardamom for a poached quince desert.

Roasted quince, like many fruits, pairs well with ham and cheese, and also with aromatic Middle Eastern dishes, such as lamb tagine.