Friday, August 17, 2007

Quince Paste

This was some of the street food at a festival this week. I think it is quince paste or dulce de membrillo. The reason I'm a little unsure if this is membrillo is because I looked at Gourmet Sleuth and it described membrillo as:

Quince paste is sweet with a delightfully delicate floral taste. A common presentation is to serve 1/4" thick slices of Manchego cheese with a thin 1/8" slice of quince paste atop. The sweet fruit is a perfect complement to the pungent cheese.

The picture Gourmet Sleuth shows looks like an almost translucent rose colored jelled paste. But I've asked before in the markets and this darker more opaque jell is what they have told me is Membrillo. In the book Frida's Fiestas, Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo, there is a recipe for Quince Paste and the recipe suggests serving it with Panela cheese. The picture in the book shows a quince paste that looks much more like the one pictured above.

Of course my photograph could be of some other candied, jelled fruit because the Mexicans love candied fruits but it made me do some research on Quince Paste. So I thought I would share it with you.

I've been looking at a menu that has a cheese course for dessert and includes serving quince paste with a Spanish Manchego cheese. So before too long I'll report back to you on how the Mexican version of Quince Paste with either panela or Manchego cheese worked out.


John W said...

Billie-One of the tapas I was served in Madrid consisted of a slice of bread topped with Manchego cheese and a slice of membrillo paste. I was so taken with the flavor that when I got back to San Miguel, I went out and bought a block of quince paste. It's the same color as the paste in your photo.

1st Mate said...

Maybe you're supposed to melt it? I see something that looks just like it in stores in Guaymas. Haven't tried it yet. Bought something similar on the road once, but it was just too...rubbery.

Billie said...

John, have you tried it? Does it taste the same as what you were served in Spain?

1st mate, I don't think you melt it. All the photos I've seen show it as a thin slice on top of cheese.

Suzanne said...

Hi Billie

The darker colored one in the top of your photo is certainly membrillo or quince paste, and the lighter one at the bottom is likely the same type of confection made with guava or durazno/peach(all of which may be called by the same name, membrillo, or sometimes ate (a-tay) - if you ask "de que?" you may get an answer as to what fruit it's made from). It is great served with a bit of cheese either as an appetizer or dessert. And, it is so inexpensive for you to buy - I remember that a loaf sized hunk is a few dollars there (and it keeps really well with all that sugar in it!) - compared to at a stateside fancy cheese store, where a tiny package imported from Spain is about $14.US.