Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quince

 
Behind the Chateau, on the property grounds, is an orchard. I first discovered the grove of apple, plum and pear trees when I was student, exploring this little world that enveloped the students.

The property isn’t expansive by any means, but it’s just big enough, with just enough foliage, that you can lose yourself, if only for a moment. Each small discovery is like a little treasure – finding apple and pear trees, noticing walnuts hidden in the grass, bushes filled with tiny jewel like blackberries, and there, in the vines crawling up the Chateau walls, grapes. And best of all, the quince tree that stands in the front courtyard.

My introduction to quince fruit was more akin to mis-communication than appreciation. You see, we thought that the quince fruit wasn’t really quince, but pears. Disgusting, fuzzy pears, actually. It wasn’t until after a disappointing mouthful of the raw fruit that we found out its true identity. And that it is absolutely necessary to cook  those suckers before eating them.

This Fall, I decided to conquer the quince, waiting until it was ripe (and fuzz free), and poaching them in a sugary, cinnamon, vanilla syrup.

 {from here}

I learned in my extensive quince research (read: googling ‘quince recipes’) that quince was the ‘apple’ that Paris gave Helen of Troy, and I completely understand why. While horrible to eat raw, the smell of a quince fruit is intoxicatingly fragrant. I’ve kept a few on my window ledge in my kitchen.

And man oh man, sweet smell of the fruit coupled with the fresh fall air just makes my heart sing.

2 comments:

laura said...

i wished my kitchen smelled like quinces!

fashionfarmsandfreedome said...

Ahoy!I just fell upon your sweet blog when I was looking up Edith Piaf. I thought I must follow you now because your pictures are so lovely, the entry about the cafe gal squawking for business, and the found love of Quince. At my cafe we recently received boxes of Quince from an organic farm down the road. We have been swimming in the sea of Quince tart and jam. Its beautiful. Keep up the great work!
Kerry