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Nov 6, 2012 10:25 AM

Seen any nice quinces in Vancouver and area?

I'm quince crazy and am always hunting for nice ones this time of year. Has anyone seen quinces for sale recently and where?

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  1. I've always found that 'nice' and 'quince' to be mutually exclusive terms since they are butt ugly.

    I did see some rather large ones in Parthenon on W Broadway but they were crazy expensive- $4.99/lb IIRC.

    1. I get mine from RJ MacDonald at Upper Bench Organics - he drives in to the Vancouver area from his Okanagan farm twice a month to deliver some of the most amazing organic apples I've ever eaten. (You can read about the apple delivery scheme on his website; I think there is still room for more people to sign up this year.)

      He doesn't advertise the quince because so few people are interested in it, but he has ripe quince right now and I have a big crate of them in my kitchen. If you contact him he may be able to arrange an order for you. They're extremely ugly, like Sam Salmon said, and quite a few of them have splits and bruises but those are easily cut off and the awesome quince flavour is definitely there.

      4 Replies
      1. re: geekmom

        what do you do with quince?

        we are in the Penticton area and nobody i know uses them

        (tho sour cherries we all stop by side of road for in season if we find a volunteer tree - the orchards are taken over by designer lifestyle vino grapes now)

        ps - that is an interesting area around Keremeos - Mariposa organic has remarkable history - along with many others out there too ...
        the website that i want to show you is not very good in terms of linking to the detail info - but here is an example of a springtime tour that anyone who wants to learn more about Keremeos can join in - the lady leader of this tour is Mariposa - a lady who has made a difference
        This was Meadowlark Festival in Penticton area - 2012 May long wkd
        so check for 2013 soon -
        event number 86. How Do Organic Farms Operate?
        Time: 8:30am – 5pm Area: South Okanagan
        Meeting Place: Penticton Visitor Centre 8:30am;
        or Bears Fruit Stand (corner of Hwy 3A & Keremeos Bypass
        )9am Age Permitted: 16+ What to Bring: Water; Sun Hat/
        Protection; All-weather Clothing; Good Walking Footwear;
        Snacks/Bagged Lunch; Binoculars/Notebook Category:
        Organic Farming; Wildlife; Walk Description: Join guide
        Lee McFadyen on this day long tour visiting local organic
        farms, of which some participate in The Land Conservancy’s
        Conservation Partners Program. During this insightful trip
        you will receive an overview of organic methods and explore
        various conservation and restoration sites. Different habitats
        will also be featured at the farms visited throughout the day.
        Bring your own lunch to enjoy while taking in the view of
        the beautiful Similkameen River, Mount Chopaka and The
        Sleeping Lady. Transport: Carpool

        1. re: Georgia Strait

          I make lots of quince past, membrillo, which is a Christmas staple for us with cheese. Also quince jelly - so beautiful and so delicious. On the savory side I love lamb stew with quince. You are right Sam, quince is ugly, and raw it is REALLY NASTY! But you cook it with some sugar and it releases the most amazing aroma and flavor! Thanks for the tip about Upper Bench Organics geekmom. I'll give them a call/email. I keep hoping there's a quince tree owner in the lower mainland who looks at that ugly yucky fruit and want to unload them! When you do see them for sale they are frequently prohibitively priced because there is so little demand for them!

          1. re: Georgia Strait

            I play with them! Last year I had a go at quince syrup, cooked them with sugar until soft, and then added them to baked goods, this year I tried baking them in halves, basting with a spiced honey wine mixture that baked down to a gorgeous syrup and we served the fruit & syrup with homemade vanilla ice cream, then if I can find some time ASAP I am going to have a go at making quince jam (unfortunately the fruit is rotting faster than I can find time to cook it!)

            I've never actually been out to Keremeos - sounds like a pretty interesting place. Actually I've never been to the Okanagan at all, unless you count the three hours I spent wandering around West Kelowna's retail strip once when I had to buy an emergency set of tires on my way to Calgary... Clearly I need to try and correct that oversight next summer. Thank you for the info!

            PS Upper Bench has sour cherries! I have a jar of them sitting in Amaretto in my fridge - YUM.

            1. re: Georgia Strait

              OK, since I was up so early today & realized I would likely lose the fruit before I could make any jam, I decided to follow this simple poached quince recipe, instead:

              It says they keep for up to a week, and you can use the poached quince & their syrup in a number of interesting ways.

              The whole house smells divine at the moment. It's really hard to describe the flavour of these things - it's like apples, but more perfumey, with a pleasant tartness.

          2. I have a quince shrub/tree in my garden & get a fair amount of fruit every year, but I've never done anything with them as I was told decorative quince were not edible. My quince are quite small, on average two inches around, but I do get the occasional larger ones. Mine are kind of a mustard yellow in color & very wrinkled. I don't recall ever seeing quince in my local markets, but have to say now that I've read this thread, I'm curious to see the difference in the two.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Joyfull

              and do your "quince' have pink flowers in spring?
              we have that shrub too - are those fruit edible?
              i don't know. They are a messy nuisance as far as i know.

              now - crabapples - i remember growing up way back in the yonder - a neighbour had a crabapple tree and we'd all go over and pick from the majestic beast (it was huge - really big, a coastal heritage crabapple before they bred them for pollination and decoration and spraying machines etc)

            2. Hey megolson - I was astonished to see some really lovely-looking quince at the Save-on-Foods next to Metrotown last night (Station Square). $2.99/lb. Not sure where they were from and they weren't organic.

              1. The green grocer Triple A on Commercial/E 1st currently sells quince. They're not organic, but I bought a few, hoping to do something with them. What exactly? Not entirely sure. They sure do smell pretty...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Florentine

                  Thanks geekmom and Florentine! Leads! I really appreciate the eyes on the ground since we live in Point Roberts and we're little hobbits down here who only venture out if there is promise of riches... I'm more concerned with local, or close, than organic. Though I'll take organic if I can.
                  Florentine, if you only have a few poach them, cored, in some sweet riesling and eat them with good vanilla ice cream. Or make apple and quince sauce and roast some pork... yum yum yum... You think they smell good now, wait until they're in the oven!