The quince is, surely, the perfect example of Nature’s sly sense of humour, quirky teasing, love of secrets and surprise, and poetic generosity.
This pear-like fruit that looks like an old man’s knobbly hairy knee before it ripens into bright yellow smoothness was much loved by the ancient Babylonians, Judeans, Greeks, Romans and Turks. Even Pliny the Elder wrote about it.
Rock hard, ferociously astringent and spitefully sour, the quince has tough skin that is awkward to peel and requires a good firm blade to cut. One would wonder, quite frankly, what all those ancients were fussing about.