Ann TorrenceI have several varieties of quince on order for spring planting. The plan is a trap tree for apple insects, a minor juice component to hard apple cider and our local candy maker might want to do membrillo. But how does it store? Keep like apples and pears? Is there a preferred variety for cooking? What else to do with a lot of it?
John clearly knows a lot more about quince than I do, but I got a batch this year from my cousin outside of Portland. I don't remember the variety. They kept well--more like apples and better than pears. I made a lemon-quince marmalade, which was wonderful but not exactly a food staple. Middle Eastern cooking often features quince--its sharpish taste pairs well with lamb-- and there are recipes in the trendy (and good!) Ottolenghi cookbooks.
From what I understand, quinces help make excellent cider-
Ann Torrence wrote: a minor juice component to hard apple cider
which makes total sense as they're aromatic and high in tannins like crab apples, another great cider addition.
In my experience, quinces store better than any other fruit. I've seen quinces sit in a bowl for ages without rotting,
Ann Torrence wrote: how does it store? Keep like apples and pears?
and they start to smell kind of like tropical citrus bubblegum after a couple of weeks
most quinces are basically inedible raw, and all as far as I know go a good red/burgundy when cooked long enough.
Ann Torrence wrote:Is there a preferred variety for cooking?
'Smyrna' has big, aromatic fruit which store really well.
Make more membrillo! It sells well, especially if you can team up with a cheese person and market them together.
Ann Torrence wrote:What else to do with a lot of it?
Any nut growers around? Blue cheese, membrillo and walnuts is a thing of beauty!
3 AROMATNAYA - QUINCE, RUSSIAN
1 VAN DEMAN
Randall Graham, rockstar wine-maker of Bonny Doon Vineyard, is making a cider that is a blend of apple, pear and quince. Haven't tried it (going to have to special order it from the state package store) but that was the inspiration to plant these, along with the idea that quince are a good trap tree for apple pests. In however many years, we will add quince to the annual apple tasting party we have here (20 apple varieties last year) and report back.