300 g - Membrillo (Quince Paste)
Membrillo is a paste made from fresh quince. When raw, the beautiful, yellow-gold fruit has a pleasant aroma with notes of pineapple, but is hard and too astringent to eat. But when quince is cooked with sugar, it turns rosy pink and delicious, with a rich, apple-pear-like flavor and texture and soft floral overtones. Membrillo is a preserved version of cooked quince, and ours is made from organic fruit grown in southern Spain. It contains just the quince, raw cane sugar and lemon juice.
Membrillo is true perfection when sliced and served with Manchego cheese, a gloriously simple Spanish end to a meal. It can also be the prelude to a meal - it's hard to beat an afternoon plate of membrillo, sliced apples and good cheese, accmopanied by a glass of wine. It's a great way to add an undertone of flavor to apple or pear tarts, and it's wonderful on morning toast. For a savory option, make a sweet-and-sour Membrillo Sauce that's delicious on ham, baked fish or roast meat.
About the Producer
Our membrillo comes to us from Cal Valls, a family owned and operated company in the town of Vilanova De Bellpuig in the Lleida province of Catalonia. Its proprietor, Manolo Valls, is a leader in the organic food movement in Spain.
History of Membrillo
Membrillo has a rich history in Greek, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, French, Italian and Spanish cuisines. That's a lot of fans for a funny little fruit that has such a bitter bite when raw. In the case of quince paste, the fruit and sugar are cooked down quite a bit. Because the pectins and sugars gelatinize when cool, this method of preserving allowed the paste to be easily sliced and carried, very convenient in those pre-refrigeration days. Quince paste, like pan forte and yogurt and flat bread, is a food that evolved from a necessity; it was transportable, nutritious, and very satisfying to eat. Quince paste is a culinary nomad, with a little bit of adventure in every bite.