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Quince is a fruit that looks similar to a pear but is normally larger and has a fuzzy coating on the outside.  It is native to southwest Asia, but is also found in central and southern Europe and in America.  Unless softened by frost, most quince is too hard, astringent and bitter to eat raw.  However, it is excellent when cooked into jams or pastes.  In Spain, they eat quince paste with manchego cheese. 

Check out my recipe for Pan-Roasted Duck Breast with Quince.  In this recipe, we cook the quince in sweet wine to take away the bitterness and astringency.

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