Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Just back from harvesting a bumper crop of that much overlooked favorite of the Medieval and Elizabethan table, the medlar. Inedible until the first frosts 'blet' them on the branches, they shall be boiled down with allspice and sugar to make a sweet confection known as Medlar Cheese ( a little similar to spanish Membrillo or quince paste I'm guessing).
The fruits are beautiful in an offbeat rusty russety way. In the 16th and 17th centuries, medlars were, in this country, bawdily called “open-arses” because of the shape of the fruits and associated with loose women and prostitution - the french call them 'Culs de Chiens' I believe. Not hard to see why, even if the name could be somewhat offputting.
I shall keep you posted.