22 November, 2008

The medlar: another old-fashioned fruit

These were a recent gift and have been turned into more jelly. I've getting the hang of jelly. I won't bother adding a recipe. It's basically simmer fruit until soft with water, strain, boil with sugar, skim like crazy, pot up. Here's the jelly I made with the medlars.

The medlar is an odd fruit, uncommon, with a strange appearance, and I suspect it is grown more for the tree which is lovely, than the fruit which has few uses.

Jane Grigson has a section on it in her fruit book, with the history of its name. It was originally known in England as the openarse, then as the English became more more genteel and less "anglo-saxon" they adopted the French name. In addition to the name medlar, the French also had a coarse name "cul de chien". Apparently it has been the "butt" of jokes for centuries. It was used medicinally - for digestive problems, and makes a good jelly to eat with meat but otherwise you eat them when ripe.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Might have to have one of these monitors. They would however fuel my husband's obsessive tendencies no end.
I am beginning to get a bit paranoid about the fact that you never comment on mine despite the fact that you seem to be interested in much of the same stuff. Am I really tedious? Hmm, don't answer that.