Book Review

Simply Quince

by Barbara Ghazarian

Mayreni Publishing, August 2009. Hardcover, 8.9 x 7 x 0.6 inches, 216 pages. ISBN-10: 1931834318; ISBN-13: 978-1931834315. List price $21.95 US; available new and used
at discounted prices from
(Price/availability info may have changed since original publication of review.)

Reviewed by Lon Rombough (6/2009)

This book’s title, Simply Quince, seems a bit misleading— there really is nothing simple about quince. It has a complex, aromatic flavor, a rich, intense scent, and its origins and history are colorful and important in many ways. The golden apples of the Hesperides in the legend of Hercules were probably quinces. Quinces were once the dessert of nobility in Europe. And at one time no housewife did without quinces if she could grow or buy them, because they were so essential for preserves, in desserts and more.

For all that, quince is hardly more than a poorly handled oddity in most grocery stores these days. Few consumers even know what to do with them. This book should change that.

I’ve grown quinces for many years, so I know and love the fruit and have a good idea of what can be done with it. Even so, I am seriously impressed with the sheer number of really creative recipes using quince that can be found in this book. Here are a few:

And so on, through a range of condiments, meat dishes, desserts, beverages both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, and more. Over 70 in all.

My only regret is that the book arrived before my own crop was ready. So I have to wait before I can start using the recipes.

Take heart if quince fruit isn’t sold at a market near you. Perhaps you will be able to grow your own using information from the section on culture, nurseries that carry quince trees, as well as other sources of information in the book.

Simply Quince. Simply delicious!

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