What is a quince?

I bought one at the grocery store this evening. Best guess from appearances is that it’s some sort of fruit.

So, I’m going to have it for breakfast tomorrow. Unless y’all clearly warn me off. My operational plan is to, well, eat it. As one might an apple or a pear. I don’t need to cook it or some such, do I?

What should I expect? Are they good?

cook it! You can’t eat them raw! They’re horrible, hard, bitter and nasty raw.

Cooked, they are heavenly. You need to peel it, and core it and then boil it with sugar until soft.

When I lived where we could get decent quinces, I’d make quince jam and quince jelly and quince paste. I’ve got a fabulous recipe for chicken with quince too.

Can I nuke it in sugary water?


If you have to. They do take a long time on the stove top to cook until soft.

No! Don’t nuke it!

Why not try making A Quince Applesauce instead? (The recipe seems relatively simple, and you don’t need a food mill for it–you can grate the fruit through a box grater which may give it a bit of texture, but will work.)

Or, just chop up the quince, add some sugar and a few tablespoons of water and simmer it on low heat until it’s soft. Quince is incredible served with cheese–especially Manchego and Stilton.

*They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand on the edge of the sand
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon. *

–From The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, 1871

Ringo, you do have a runcible spoon, don’t you? Otherwise, it just won’t work, you know.

Isn’t a quince also a snow hut? I’m pretty sure you didn’t buy one of those though.

From Cecil What’s a runcible spoon?

So a runcible spoon is essentially a spork?

Well, the quince resides in the 'frig until the flatware problem gets worked out.

I have never heard of quince being eaten like that. In Spain it is commonly used to make jelly/jam/paste similar to guava paste.

And, of course, the best line of that nursery rhyme is

too bad lately I do not have a chance to use it often.

Interesting (?) factoid – the word marmalade has this derivation:

Main Entry: mar·ma·lade
Pronunciation: [FONT=courier new]'mär-m&-"lAd
Function: noun
Etymology: Portuguese marmelada quince conserve, from marmelo quince, from Latin melimelum, a sweet apple, from Greek melimElon, from meli honey + mElon apple – more at MELLIFLUOUS
Date: 1524
: a clear sweetened jelly in which pieces of fruit and fruit rind are suspended[/FONT]

The late John McGiver, officious, owlish, *British character at large actor, played a professor name “Luther Quince” in the “Jimmy Stewart Show” of the early 1970s.

*Despite the fact that he was a native New Yorker. He was also in one of the first of the American Express “You don’t know me” commercials.

everton, in Spanish the word “mermelada” is used for any fruit jam/preserve . . . . except quince which is called “dulce de membrillo” - - Quince sweet. Funny how languages evolve. The Spanish “mermelada” dates back to 1570 meaning quince preserve but the wider meaning of “any fruit preserve” dates to the late 19th century and was acquired from the French and now the word is not used for quince preserve.

That is funny. Did you hear the one about it being derived from a seasickness remedy for Mary, Queen of Scots?