October 2015

THE FIRST TIME I came across a quince tree it was growing wild, laden down with golden fruit, in a country lane in South West France. I have wanted the space to grow my own ever since so it was amongst the very first trees we planted here back in January.

Quince is native to rocky slopes and woodland margins in Turkey, Iran and South-west Asia. A small deciduous tree with beautiful pale pink blossom, it is thought it’s cultivation may have even preceded that of apple culture.

In Roman times it was eaten stewed with honey and the fruit made into a sweet liqueur. In England records of around 1275 show that Edward I ordered quince to be planted at the Tower of London.

Delicious with cheeses and cold meats quince paste is easy and pleasurable to make – so this is what I will be doing with the contents of the colander and what we will be eating with our baked ham this Christmas.

October 15 GardenDiary main pic

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