By Susan Gaulke, Cheese Monger
Membrillo (Marmelada) Quince Paste from Spain & Portugal Quince is a fruit which hails from the same family as the apple and the pear. It is a bumpy, yellow, pear-like fruit with a heady aroma. When ripe, although extremely perfumed and fragrant, it is nonetheless dry, hard, astringent, and acidic. Once cooked, pureed, sweetened, and cooked some more, the quince transforms from a pale butternut squash color into a deep, rich amber color. Quince has been prepared as a jelly and a paste (aka “quince cheese”) on the Iberian Peninsula for well over one-hundred years. In Spain, it is known as “dulce de membrillo;” in Portugal, the name for quince is “marmelo,” and the paste is “marmelada.” Our quince paste is Portuguese and is made by the nuns at Odivelas Monastery near Lisbon with a recipe used since the 1800s. Membrillo is most classically paired with Manchego, which provides a contrasting savory, milky, tangy flavor with the ethereal, fragrant, honey-sweet quince paste. We now offer our membrillo on our choice boards as an accoutrement. Come taste it at the Cheese Box and we will help you pair it with some of your favorite cheeses!