Last Bite: Quince

By Edible Pioneer Valley | Photograph by Dominic Perri

Confession time: Quince make us weak in the knees. These incredibly fragrant fruits (once upon a time, they were used as pomanders, perfuming many a linen closet) resemble apples, but their golden, russeted, occasionally fuzzy skins encase a fruit with a split personality. High in tannins, their raw flesh is bitter and astringent, but after a poaching in sugar or honey the flesh turns golden-pink and lusciously tender. 

They could be a fleeting pleasure, as the fresh fruit does not keep well. However, there is no need to deny yourself this luscious experience out of season: Quince can be poached and canned for longer storage, so buy what you can and keep them on hand. In the darkest days of winter, you’ll be grateful for those jars of warm fall sunshine hiding in your pantry. 

Local quince can be found at Clarkdale Fruit Farm.