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Medlars – The Forgotten Fruit

Medlars – The Forgotten Fruit

A few weeks ago on our facebook page we published this photo and asked people if they know what is it. Since no one answered correctly we decided to write something about this forgotten fruit:

The medlar tree resembles a pear tree, but the fruits are quite different. They look rather like large golden-brown rosehips, with a russetted skin and a distinctive open five-pointed calyx end. They are eaten when overripe, almost rotten. The process is known as bletting and is traditionally achieved by spreading out unripe fruit on straw and leaving it to decay for several weeks, by which time the flesh is soft enough to be spooned out.

To speed up the bletting process, whole unripe medlars can be frozen to break up the cell structure, then left to decay at room temperature. The flesh has a dry, sticky texture with a sweet flavor little like dates, but slightly more astringent.

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Medlars are definitely not to everyone’s taste. For example, the 19-th century horticulturist, George Bunyard described several different varieties of medlar as “all equal unpleasantness”.

Learn more about this fruit on wikipedia.


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