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Mar 5, 2007 07:50 PM

How long will membrillo last?

I just bought a tub a Whole Foods to go with some Humboldt Fog (mmm...), but now I've eaten all the cheese and have 3/4 of a tub of membrillo left. Should I keep it in the fridge or the pantry, and how long will it stay good?

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  1. Membrillo lasts for ages and ages in the fridge. It contains lots of sugar, so you can think of it like a jam. (And you'll know if it has gone bad - you'd see mold or scary-looking scum.) I've kept left-over quince paste in my fridge for at least 6 months and probably longer, like a year.

    Try that membrillo with a hard Spanish cheese, like Manchego or Mahon, and a sliver of thinly sliced prosciutto (or Spanish serrano ham, if you can get it).

    Or melt some in a pan after you've sauteed a chicken breast, then add a splash of wine (or balsamic vinegar) and a bit of butter, and pour the sauce over the chicken. You'll use up your membrillo in no time.


    1 Reply
    1. re: AnneInMpls

      My wife just left some out on the counter for a few months and it was fine. I was afraid to eat it but she did and it was fine.I'm sure like Anne says it would get moldy or something so you would know.

      1. re: PMittens

        Awright, you guys. What the OP bought is not membrillo. It's ate (AH-tay) de membrillo. There's much more than a semantic difference.

        Membrillo is quince. Quince is a hard, very tart, round fruit that is approximately the size of an apple or a bit larger. It's related to the pear.

        Ate de membrillo is sweetened, cooked quince paste.

        Here in Mexico, we eat quince two ways: (1) raw and out of hand, with salt, powdered chile, and limón or (2) as ate de membrillo, with manchego cheese and saltine crackers. The quince itself can store well in the refrigerator for as much as three months. The ate stores well almost indefinitely.

        The photo on the left is the membrillo. The photo on the right is ate de membrillo (with cheese, on a cracker).

        1. re: cristina

          Here in Spain, it isn't called "ate." It's called crema de membrillo, dulce de membrillo or just "membrillo." As long as it doesn't get too dried out, it doesn't go bad.

          1. re: cristina

            Yep, Cristina's right. I was being sloppy by using just the word "membrillo." As I have three whole fresh membrillos on my counter, I should learn how to differentiate.

            The quince paste I usually buy is from Mexico; the can is labelled "dulce de membrillo." Yummy, yummy stuff!

            EDITED TO ADD: I tried to attach a picture of the can, but it didn't work. If y'all are curious, see this link: