The Medlar is indigenous to the British Isles and bears a fruit similar in taste to Quinces. It is quite bitter in and traditionally you don’t eat it raw until it is ‘bletted’ which means rotten. Once it rots it is soft enough to be eaten raw. Frost would bring bletting on, but over time a medlar will blet naturally. It was a common accompaniment to hard, strong cheese because of its sweetness. Needless to say today most people more or less ignore the medlars completely and clearly no supermarket would have an idea of how to market it. The sad thing is that because the supermarkets don’t stock this peculiar fruit it has fallen out of favour.
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I planted a ‘roomful’ of medlar, 6 altogether, and they are now beginning to fruit. Not as well as those we planted 10 years ago in the Long Border, but these have only been in for 6 years. I’m sure bigger crops will come in time.
Their common name historically is ‘dog’s arse’ or ‘open arse’, I’m certain you can see why below!?!
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This morning I cut a crop of windfalls into halves and boiled them till they were tender. Now I will push the pulp through a sieve and then I’ll make Medlar cheese as I made Quince cheese last week.
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Interestingly as they simmered to tenderness there was a lovely vanilla aroma hanging around the kitchen. I might just add a little vanilla to the final pulp to enhance that. As you can see it didn’t look much in the pan, but I’ll keep you posted on the flavour. In the mean time I would encourage you to find a Farmers’ Market where there’s likely to be some for sale.

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