The Lumpy Fruit, The Golden Fruit

Quinces and Membrillo (photo: Kathleen Rose)

The quince is a pome fruit in the Rosaceae family, which includes pears and apples. It is a rock hard, homely, lumpy fruit. If you manage to hack off a slice, you will find it to be tough, tannic and sour. It has been suggested that the quince was the golden fruit, beloved of Aphrodite, that started the Trojan war. Because it thrived in the heat of the plains of Mesopotamia, it might also have been the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge.

The origin of the quince is thought to be somewhere in the Caucasus, Northern Persia or the formerly Fertile Crescent, so it is a more likely candidate to have starred in those ancient stories than the apple we know today. Hard to imagine, though, that it was considered a tempting fruit.

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