Quinces are shaped somewhat like pears but they are hard and very acidic. While some quince can be eaten raw, its true beauty is in the delicious fragrance and rosy-red color unlocked by poaching or cooking them. Quince jelly is a natural, because of the natural supplies of pectin in quinces. Quince is also delicious added to apple or pear tarts and pastries and quince paste is an elegant accompanient to cheeses such as manchego.
Our quinces are cydonia oblonga, a small tree with exquisite white blooms in spring. It is not to be confused with the common shrub, chaenomeles japonica, which can also produce fruit, but generally of an inferior quality.