Immortalised in Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat, the quince can’t be eaten raw, is a devil to peel but once cooked the flesh softens and turns a sunset colour and has a wonderful delicate fragrance.  Belongs to the same family as apples and pears with a shape similar to the pear but larger with a lumpy yellow skin and hard flesh.

Best known for quince jelly or membrillo, the paste to go with cheese or sliced ham, we love them though braised with a lamb stew, roasted with pork, for a marmalade or poached with apple in pies or tarts – they do take longer to cook though so add the apple once the quince has started to soften.

Do consider buying one or two – you can leave them in a bowl to enjoy their fragrance if nothing else.