In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan posits that some plants beguile us into domesticating them. Apples, tulips, potatoes — they appeal, Michael claims, to fundamental human needs, and so we propagated them, ensuring their survival. They are ubiquitous now not by chance, but by design, both ours and theirs.
Quince, it seems, missed this evolutionary mandate. In fact, quince seems to have taken the opposite tack, stubbornly refusing to play nicely with modern cooks. Always pressed for time, if we cook at all, we’re unlikely to choose a fruit that cannot be eaten raw — it tastes like a mealy, sour apple. They can be difficult to peel, harder to cut and noncommittal about cooking times — 20 minutes one day, it seems, an hour another (yet mine, though slightly underripe, cooked pretty quickly).
But we genuinely think quince will indeed make you happy once you give it a try. We made our recipes as easy as possible. (Honestly, look at other recipes online. Once you tackle finding and prepping the quince, it demands very little in the way of special ingredients or fancy technique — stewing, baking, roasting, some sugar, some alcohol, maybe some spices.)