Food & Wine

food basket. TEXT. CUINA magazine. PHOTO

An autumn favourite

November is the time of year for quince

Quince is one of autumn's most characteristic fruits. Originally from the region around Iran, it was the Persians who brought quince to the Mediterranean, as a symbol of love and fertility.

When it is fresh, quince has a fine skin and rough pulp, due to the large number of tannins it contains, which are also the culprits for how quickly it decays once cut. However, cooking the fruit breaks it down and makes it edible, and this has been the traditional way to eat quince since the beginning. In fact, the Portuguese name for the fruit -marmelo- gave rise to the term 'melmelada' (‘jam' in Catalan), the generic term for fruit conserved after cooking with sugar. However, quince also has significant amounts of pectin (a thickening agent) that leaves the finished product in a solid form, much thicker than jam, than can even be sliced. This is how the fruit is traditionally consumed around Catalonia, where it is used as an accompaniment to all types of dishes, both sweet and savoury.

Quince is also used to make another typical product: allioli de codony, which can be served just like the garlic equivalent, but which has a smoother, more aromatic taste. If preparing it at home, the quince needs to be well roasted or boiled and the pulp should be extracted once it has well-softened. After that, all you have to do is crush the garlic with salt and add the cooked quince pulp. The result is a smooth paste that then needs binding with oil. The necessary quantities are three garlic cloves and approximately 300 ml of olive oil for each quince.

Sign in. Sign in if you are already a verified reader. I want to become verified reader. To leave comments on the website you must be a verified reader.
Note: To leave comments on the website you must be a verified reader and accept the conditions of use.