In the New York Times garden section yesterday, they featured a fruit that has fallen so far out of style, it's practically a living antique. And while I appreciated the article, I also felt that they completely buried the lede, if not forgetting it entirely: This ancient fruit is one of the most delicious fruits you'll ever eat. Yes, you've probably guessed by now that I'm talking about the quince, a fruit that grows on small, beautifully gnarled trees. Since the piece was in the garden section, it focused on growing quince and how the trees have fallen out of favor with modern gardeners, who don't know what to do with a fruit that has to be cooked before it can be eaten. To be fair, there were plenty of positive notes, as the author detailed quince's history in New York.
But I also felt that the sheer deliciousness of this fruit needs more airtime. When simmered with sugar and spices, quince becomes fragrant and perfumed, scarlet pink, tender like poached apples, but with more aroma and spicy, tangy notes. Cooked quince is such a sublime fruit, and almost no one eats it anymore.
So, while I was so glad to see this piece (and am shopping for my own quince tree very soon!) there's a case to be made for reviving the quince that goes beyond their historical curiosity and their unique, offbeat appeal — for a cook, they are a fruit to fall in love with.