there used to be quince trees scattered across the united states. when you settled a new area you grew a garden and like as not, you planted a quince tree, because quince are full of pectin, and you need pectin for jams and jellies and pies. then in 1913 somebody patented commercial pectin derived from the apple pomace left over from apple pressing, and quince trees were gradually ignored, abandoned, or cut down. i don’t necessarily want to wait for a quince tree to mature before i make my next strawberry jam or freeform rustic apple tart, yet it feels as if something has been lost in the absence of the quince tree in the back yard, that gave such beautiful blossoms in the spring, and promised such sweet pleasure to be stored in the larder all fall and winter.

quince blossoms

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