Any recipe that starts with “as many quinces as you can lay your hands on” makes me giddy. Page 453: Membrillo.
A couple of months ago I approached a neighbor who I knew had an old and gnarled quince tree in his yard. In fact, it was one of the few trees in his yard and maybe it was even pretty miserable. But it still produced a glut of fruit.
It took him a while to figure our what I was talking about. But eventually he realized what I was asking — quince, for plenty of good reasons, isn’t in most people’s daily vocabulary.
“That tree?” he said? “We got rid of it. It was so old and ugly.”
Yes, it was a bit of a beast. It was also an old, old tree, perhaps old enough to have been planted by someone who remembered their parents or grandparents using quince routinely in their kitchen.
Everyone: if you have an old, gnarled quince tree in your neighborhood, let me know. I’ll trade fruit for paste and jam!