At the Quinta dos Sentidos in the Portuguese region of Algarve it’s time to harvest the quince fruit. In spring the quince tree will grace any garden with its beautiful white pinkish flowers. The large green leaves provide a look of lushness. Finally, the fruit which at first looks like apples keep growing beyond the size of apples. This year one measured in at 800g.
In the Algarve, the quince trees are also typically found along the roads. Whether they are wild or just poorly cared for, the fruit is much smaller than the cultivated ones.
People will eat the fruit raw if they get soft enough to bite into. Mostly, however, they are very hard, so best used for preserves. We make jelly. The white fruit meat gives a red juice with a perfect sweet and tart balance for red jelly.
Marmalade in English is used for preserve made with citrus fruit, but the origin of the word is from the ‘marmelo’, the quince fruit.