One night, while at university, I neatly won a game of Scrabble against my housemates by landing the word 'quince' on a triple-word-score.  When I lay the word on the board they smirked, insisting that 'quince' was not a word.  I informed them that I had not only cooked but consumed a quince earlier that day while they sat around the kitchen table eating tortilla chips; in response, they shook their fists in fury and swore eternal vengeance.

So this past Sunday, when I spotted a pile of quince at my local farmer's market, I skipped over with glee, not only due to my fond memory of the aforementioned Scrabble game, but because quince are rare, their season short, and I've been saving up recipes all year (plus I'm intrigued by ancient texts which indicate that Eve's forbidden fruit may perhaps have been quince).  Why did I only buy three?  My bags were already overloaded with kale, Brussels sprouts & jars of honey, but I'm planning to buy more quince next Sunday (reassuring myself that quince season runs through October & November, so they should hopefully continue to appear at the market for the next two months).

I'm not sure which recipe to try first: this one at Orangette, this one over at Food 52, this recipe at Chowhound, this recipe at kitchn, this one at Bon Apetit or this other one at Bon Apetit (I'm thinking maybe the Chowhound one with honey and cognac... or the one at Bon Apetit for fig & quince preserves... oh,my).

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;—
All ripe together
In summer weather,—
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.”


  1. Thank you for sharing your lovely quince memories, recipes and poem! I too love the rare quince and have treasured memories of quince harvests and the bounty of their treasured scents and flavors.. Note to self, must plant a few to grow into the future garden.

    1. Hooray! Another quince enthusiast! I planted some quince in my garden this past spring, only to discover that it was an ornamental variety. So disappointed. Note to self: next time, make sure the quince I purchase/plant is a fruiting variety.


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