Before you ask, let’s answer the obvious question: what is a quince?

Quince trees produce a dense pear-shaped fruit that turns a brilliant golden yellow in early fall. When ripe, quince emit a distinctly honeysweet fragrance with hints of pineapples or citrus blended with a spiciness all its own. If you have never smelled a quince, you are really missing out. Its striking colour and floral scent alone could explain why quinces have been cultivated since ancient times, but it is another quality, its naturally high levels of pectin, that has solidified (pun intended) it’s place in the cuisine of many Mediterranean and Eastern European cultures. Our own quince paste emulates a traditional Spanish preserve called membrillo, where the fruit is first roasted, then stewed with organic cane sugar and eventually reduced. The process transforms the tart and acidic pulp into a delectably sweet paste. The end product can be sliced and served with cheese or simply enjoyed on toast like marmalade.

This product is made by LifeCycles volunteers under the stewardship of Chefs at the Marina Restaurant in Oak Bay.

You can find it at Ottavio’s and the Village Butcher in Oak Bay.