The Medlars are ripe and we’ve been gathering them off the tree. Adam will be making chutneys and jams from this extraordinary fruit that originates from Persia and Southwest Asia, but was introduced to England by the Romans. It has been cultivated for at least 3000 years and was popular as a rare winter fruit. They have a date-like flavour, and are excellent in fruity puddings or with apples and nuts.
The strange shaped fruit (reminiscent of a cat’s bum) is rock hard until the first cold morning’s frost when it blets, turning soft and looking like apple sauce on the inside. You can eat it raw in this state, or if you find that unpalatable, you can make jelly or chutney instead. If you find making your own condiments too challenging, then you will have to buy a pot of jelly or chutney off the shelf, either from Adam or Auntie Vals. It’s definitely worth it and goes extremely well with meats and cheeses.
As Shakespeare would have it in Romeo and Juliet
Now will he sit under a medlar tree,
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.
O Romeo, that she were, O that she were
An open-arse and thou a pop’rin pear!
If you think the medlar is too rude, then we have quince and crab apple jelly as well, with quince fruit still available to buy. All three jellies are superb accompaniments to cold meat or cheese.
Medlars are available for £2.25/kg or a jar of jelly is £3.99.