Monday, November 5, 2007
Scrappy bought me three quinces yesterday. They smelled ripe, on the happy edge of fermentation. Have you noticed how ripeness is but the first stage of rot? I can’t recall ever having had quince in the house before. Scrappy said she found a recipe on epicurious, for a concoction that was supposed to sit for 24 hours before consumption. That’s always an intriguing command. I scanned a couple of recipes myself to get some idea what to do with the beasties. Then I peeled, diced, and roasted them with a little brown sugar and maple syrup. This is the marmalady result: It is luscious. And yet the savants tell us it is a minor fruit! I know that the biblical “apple” that made us wise to the world was not our old friend malus, since such things didn’t grow along that fateful coastline on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean or even further inland, in Mesopotamia, supposed location of the garden of Eden. (The word “apple” isn’t in Genesis, btw). Quince was Venus’ fruit: as you cook it, it red-shifts, blushing at first, then flushing with the heat.