Saturday, May 17, 2008


When I decided on a whim to start this diary of disturbing victuals (what was I thinking?) I was actually hoping to encounter situations like this.

Quince is the ugliest looking abortion of a pear/apple-esque fruit I've ever seen with its odd, lumpy shape and seemingly standard blemishes. Its saving grace is the pleasant green color and stunning aroma. Think of the nicest apple fragrance you've encountered and make it sweeter, lighter, and more flowerlike. The quince smells gorgeous.

quince in tree

There's a hard nut in the middle but I was unable to open the fruit without chopping straight though it. The insides resembled that of a pear except for the pit that I had just sliced into quarters. So maybe I should read more about the food I choose to sample before sticking it in my mouth because this thing was completely unpalatable. Apparently you're not supposed to eat these things raw... apparently it's rather impossible to do so and, to my horror, I found it can be quite dangerous:

ELIZABETH, N. J., Oct. 2J.-Eating a raw quince which he had put in a bowl of milk caused the death of Henry Reetz. a young artist, early this morning: at his home, 820 Grove Street. He had been ill only two days. He plucked the fruit from a tree in his garden, and, nutting the quince, soaked it in the milk. He was attacked with violent pains In the stomach tour hours after he had partaken of the dish, and suffered intense agony. He had been married only four months.

A quick google search will link you to that obituary in the New York Times. I have no idea if that kind of reaction is standard but that puts me off experimenting any further with this fruit. Other articles taught me that quince can be rather delicious if cooked and made into jam or added in small amounts to apple sauce and pies for flavor enhancement. According to Wikipedia, the word marmalade originally meant quince jam as the Portuguese word for quince is marmelo. So, while this fruit is technically edible and therefore qualifies for inclusion in this blog, I'm going to have to advise everybody to avoid sticking this thing in their mouth. Maybe one day I'll try making a jam out of quince but for now the only use I have for it is as an air freshener.

sliced quinced

As an aside, if you're going to be cooking with quince or committing suicide with a raw specimen, make sure to use it shortly after slicing as the flesh deteriorates rather quickly, as demonstrated below.

decaying quince

No comments: