May 2022 NEWS

This month’s focus on Middle Eastern quince traditions has opened up a fascinating culinary world while taking me out of my cooking comfort zone. I’ve learnt about blooming saffron, barberries, harvesting pomegranate seeds, how to cook a traditional Uzbekistan plov with quinces (pictured), fat-tail lambs, kazak and lots more. Here’s a taste of what follows:

  • Turkey is ‘Quince Central’ in a region that values them
  • Rosh Hashanah Plov with barberries, quince and pomegranate
  • Sweet and sour quinces have been around for a long time, and
  • What’s been happening in the quince orchard.

‘Great things never come from staying in your comfort zone.’ Romy Gill, British Indian chef and cookbook author.

Cathy x

Happy days at Quince HQ

Lucindale Field Days promo

I’m very proud to be a part of a group of local Limestone Coast growers and makers for an inaugural promotion event at the 2022 Lucindale Field Days held on Friday 18th April and Saturday 19th April.

Our Quince Chutney has been included in the Gourmet Lunch Boxes on sale at site #29 in the Aussie Flavours Pavilion. It will be the perfect accompaniment to the amazing produce from Lowan Park Produce, Bully’s Meat, and Beachport Berkshires, along with some beautiful bread from the talented folks at Rise of Robe, and other goodies from Kings Katering and local producers.

After the last two years, it’s great to be back on track producing small-batch artisanal quince fare. It’s been a long time coming (with a lot of catching up; to recover) but I feel optimistic for the future. This promotion event has been a big step forward for Quince HQ.

The promotion is an initiative of the membership-based Limestone Coast Food and Agribusiness Cluster (launched in December 2021). I recently became a member to show my support for the region and to help build greater awareness about the beautiful produce and inspiring producers from our region … as well as showcase Quince HQ fare.


Pictured:  Jars of chutney ready to pack for Field Days promo

Homemade pork terrine with Quince Chutney

Quince HQ box label


Our Quince Chutney

Like all the products we make, our Quince Chutney is hand-made in small batches with fruit grown in our orchard on the family farm.  Each batch is a labour of love, but is designed to ensure that each jar is full of quince deliciousness. Even the labels are hand cut!

Our Quince Chutney is a real gem providing a beautiful balance of aromatic ingredients that harmonise wonderfully well together; quince, cinnamon, star anise, apple cider vinegar and Rose wine, among other ingredients.

We want to complement our home-grown quinces with as much South Australian grown produce as we can access. The lemons were sourced from Nangwarry; the Rosato wine was made at Bellwether Wines, in Coonawarra; and the apple cider vinegar was made in the Adelaide Hills.

Serve with cold meats, sliced terrine, a smooth brie cheese on oatcakes, or a roast vegetable tart. It can even be gently warmed to double as a rustic sauce.

At Quince HQ  we want to inspire a sense of wonder, curiosity and excitement about quinces; a really old fruit that is being rediscovered … and loved again. And there really is so much to love!
You can delve into a wondrous quince-inspired world full of stories of love, lust, legend, and traditions; be tempted by fascinating and every-day recipes; be enchanted by artworks and poetic musings through the ages; or even be enthused to grow a tree. Be prepared for something special.


Quince isn’t just a fruit
… it’s an experience.

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When summer slips away and the leaves begin to fall, quinces are readying their magic powers

It’s a fruit with personality: voluptuous, sensual, golden, fragrant, sublimely aromatic, and oh so versatile. It’s true that they aren’t much fun to eat raw … but the wow factor comes during cooking: Quince + sweetener + heat + time = heaven on a spoon. Pure alchemy.

Though related to apples and pears - which you can tell by their shape - they are botanically different.  Their fancy name is Cydonia oblonga; one that shouts back to ancient Greece where the very best quinces in the world were grown in Kydonia, on the island of Crete.

All 16 known quince varieties currently in Australia are growing in the Quince HQ orchard.

Varieties

The Quince HQ  orchard was established in 2013.  All sixteen varieties of quince trees have since been sourced from three specialist heritage fruit tree nurseries in Tasmania and Victoria:

  • Angers
  • Apple
  • Champion
  • De Bourgeaut
  • De Vranja 
  • Fullers
  • Master’s Early
  • Missouri Mammoth
  • Mummery’s Seedling
  • Orange
  • Pineapple
  • Portugal
  • Powell’s Prize     
  • Rea’s Mammoth
  • Smyrna
  • Van Deman
There was a time, in the early 1900s, when there were 40 varieties known to be growing across Australia.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

What a joy to see so many people visiting our open garden event at our Still Water property on the 24 and 25 April, 2021. The feedback has been amazing and so uplifting. We’ve been touched by all your kind thoughts about our garden and quince orchard.  Thank you.

We see it every day so it always comes as a surprise to receive such glowing comments from others viewing our garden for the first time.  We loved that you embraced our sixty-year-old park garden with its towering River Red Gums and deciduous trees. Many of you told us how peaceful and relaxing it was to walk among the trees, and then to soak up the reflections of the gums echoed in the adjoining wetlands. Thank you.

The tours of the quince orchard turned out to be more popular than we’d imagined. While we’d like to think that there are many more converts to the joys of growing, cooking and eating quinces as a result of the Quince Fair weekend, it was touching to speak to so many people who wanted to share their favourite recipe or fondest family memories. Thank you

While there were a few anxious moments for Rick and I in the days and weeks leading up to the weekend, they all faded away when the first keen visitors arrived early Saturday morning. We had a great team of friends who volunteered their time, good humour and expertise; before, during and after the event. We partnered with eight wonderful small businesses and our local CWA branch members, who all said they all enjoyed the experience of getting out-and-about and meeting with customers (post-2020). Thank you.

Now the burning question. Will we do it again? Truthfully, we won’t do another event this year, but we haven’t discounted opening up our garden later in 2022.

So, watch this space!

Cathy x

Pictured:  Cathy in a quince orchard tour (top or left) & Tim Heysen speaking about a painting of quinces by his Aunt Nora (above)

Enquiries

Cathy Hughes

0428 720 728
magic@quincehq.com.au

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