Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Real Forbidden Fruit (Or, The Mighty Quince)

This afternoon I made compote from a few of the quince given to me by my friend Izumi when I visited her on Tuesday. Her Sunnyvale house has a tree in the yard. The fruit looks a bit like the guava. It smells delightful. Most varieties are too tough and sour to eat raw, but they make lovely jam. A syrup made from the fruit is said to be good for the throat. The Japanese for quince is karin 花梨, written with the characters for flower and pear, and indeed it is a relative of apples and pears.

It's said that the fruit described in the creation story, the one that got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden, was in fact a quince. Elsewhere, the fruit makes an appearance in "The Owl and the Pussycat," where it is eaten, famously, with a runcible spoon.


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