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Jul 31, 2006 07:24 PM

Instead of quince?

I recently got a cookbook on iranian/persian cuisine and have my eyes set on several recipes. I've been looking for quince but at the most reputable veggie shop I only found one. Any ideas on what can replace it, if anything?
The book is New Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij.

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  1. Quince tastes sort of like a combo apple/ maybe either one of these? Also, if your recipe tilts toward the sweet side, you could use's a Portuguese quince paste often served with cheese....

    1. have you looked for quince in a cheese shop or the fine cheese section of your grocery store? it's usually sold there because it pairs so well with cheese.

      1. Where are you located? Quince is not yet in season, although you will probably start seeing them late summer. Fall is when they hit their stride.
        It is such an aromatic fruit, and changes so much in the cooking process that I think any substitute would be lacking, and results would be very different.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rabaja

          Yeah,, I usually don't see them until late Sept. early Oct. I guess if you had to substitute something a very firm tart apple would be closest but not the same.

        2. I assume you are is looking for the fresh quince, not quince paste or jelly that is served with cheese.
          Quince is a very unique fruit that is available beginning in September (give or take) and will be available through December or a little later because they store so well. It looks like an elongated golden apple and has a drier consistency but without much sugar. It really depends on your recipe if you can substitute apples or pears but I would wait for a month or two.

          1. Nothing else really tastes quite like quince - they have a very floral component lacking in apples and pears - and IMX you won't find the whole fruit in places like cheese stores. You will often find the a sweetened quince paste that's eaten with cheese, but not the fruit itself which is almost rarely eaten raw. (It won't hurt you, but they're not sweet and even ripe are almost as hard and dry as potatoes. I thought no one ever ate them raw, but recently came across a vague reference that may or may not have been accurate, suggesting they sometimes are.)

            Quince aren't in season now anyway, but you might find some decent hard pears around. Seckel pears are used similarly in other cultures, so while they won't taste the same, the idea is there and in concept are reasonably "authentic" if not Iran-specific. Failing that, an underripe Bosc or even Anjou would be better than nothing, but keep in mind that quinces are hard and dry - they take quite a lot of cooking without falling apart. So either find something of similar texture or add it further along in the cooking process.