Autumn has come to the hills, very gently. The first signs are wisps of mist, dew on grass and leaves in the early morning, colours starting to turn. When I passed the orchard this morning I noticed the branches of the quince tree bending low. The quinces were large and heavy, pleading to be harvested.
Although they are not quite
ripe, they can be kept on a windowsill inside to ripen slowly and perfume the room. The ones that were addled I cut and cooked with a little sugar into a thick puree which will be preserved in jars to eat with cheese, roasted meat and Greek yogurt...
The quince is a fascinating fruit, with a venerable ancestry. It originated in Asia Minor and was brought to Europe by the Greeks and Romans and was cultivated in medieval gardens. Quince comfits, cubes of sweet quince paste, are still made and eaten in southern Europe to this day. When my husband went to school in Naples, his mother often gave him quince comfits, or cotognata for a treat. A far cry from a Mars bar!