Strange Fruit
July 31, 2012 4:02 PM   Subscribe

What is this fruit-bearing bush in the yard of my new house, and can I eat the fruit on it (when it ripens)?

Here is the bush. Here are the fruits on the bush, and here is a fruit cut open so you can see the inside. The outside is very smooth, and it doesn't have any particular smell other than sort when it's cut open. I am in Guelph, Ontario (about an hour away from Toronto). Tell me this is something delicious and/or useful!
posted by torisaur to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Looks like a quince. You can make jelly out of them, but I can't say I've ever tasted it, so I can't speak to the deliciousness part of your question.
posted by aphorist at 4:06 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is a Chaenomeles or Japanese flowering quince.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:09 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

What you have there is a medlar.
posted by jan murray at 4:12 PM on July 31, 2012

Quince bush. Harvest when the fruits turn golden yellow, which will probably happen sometime in the fall. The fruit can't be eaten raw (it is like wood pulp until cooked) but you can deseed & cook slowly like an apple OR thinly slice the raw fruit & pack the slices in sugar in a jar, then store the jar in fridge until the sugar liquifies. Delicious syrup - great in tea. The fruits will perfume your kitchen with the most amazing scent when ripe. Somewhere between apples, pineapples & roses.
posted by muirne81 at 4:52 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

That's definitely a quince. Medlar fruit look more like rose hips (because they're in the rose family).
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:53 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Be forewarned that raw, unripe quince are very astringent and tannic.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:05 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Looks Quincy to me. Quince paste is absolutely amazing with cheese. A nice strong cheddar is my preference. I have never found a quince I liked fresh but could eat the paste by the bucket full.
posted by wwax at 5:17 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Making quince jelly is reasonably easy but you do have to spend a fair old time over the stove. It is delicious and has this amazing reddy-orange color.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:54 PM on July 31, 2012

I'm pretty sure sciencegeek is right and this is a "flowering quince" rather than a normal quince, which would look more like a tree. Chaenomeles is related to quince, but they're different species. I've never tried chaenomeles fruit (I have one, but it's still little), but they're supposed to be good for making jelly even though they might not taste quite like actual quinces.

On the plus side, it should have nice flowers in winter. Hopefully you have one of the bright red kind.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:37 AM on August 1, 2012

If you make quince paste another very traditional pairing would be with manchego cheese.
posted by syncope at 4:07 PM on August 1, 2012

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