“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." Edward Lear, in The Owl and the Pussycat (1871).
The quince defies the principles of evolution; in its raw form no animal could possibly want to forage this fruit from the tree and disperse it seeds. But its unique and perfumed aroma when slowly cooked with sugar and spices would be enough to make even the fussiest pussycat swoon! Embraced by generations of nannas all over the country to make jellies, pickles, pastes and jams, the quince is fast making a comeback amongst the younger generation as they rediscover the beauty and complexity of this ancient fruit. Quinces are only available in the cooler months and once they finish you won’t see them again until the following year, so I like to preserve at least a few kilos each year so I always have some on hand.