Those that know me know that I am no chef. Never have been. Never will be. Sure I cook. It is a necessity when you have a family or even when you do not have a family. At some stage in your life everyone needs to cook. I have lots of recipe books here, yes I brought them all over from Australia, but when I look at the photos and read the instructions in these books I scratch my head, get a very confused look on my face, throw my hands up in the air and yell “Fuck it”.
Since we arrived in Mersin I relied heavily on my mother in law for our meals. If not her then my sister in law would always have something that I could incorporate into whatever I was attempting to cook. Now I find it is a necessity again and I need to learn and learn fast.
Each afternoon my father in law will knock on my door and hand me some fruit that he has bought at the market (or perhaps steals from a neighbouring tree). Fresh, crisp elma (apple), uzum (grapes) straight of the vine, muz (banana) or whatever other fruit happens to be in season at the time. A couple of days ago he dropped in and handed me some avya. He kept repeating to me “Avya, avya. Good, good.” I had no idea what they were and even less idea what I was to do with them. He looked so impressed with himself that I searched my limited Turkish for the right response, “Ben avya seviyorum.” Of course I love avya despite not knowing what it was.
After some sleuthing I find that these strange little fruit are quince. I have a bag of quince, quinces or quini. What would the plural of quince be? Not sure. Searching the internet I found a relatively simple recipe for poaching quince, quinces or quinci – Avya Tatlisi.
I will start by saying that quince, quinces or quini are hard to the touch. Unpleasant. Peeled the fruit is coarse. Unpleasant. And believe me do not eat it uncooked. Blugh!
Here is my final product –
To be honest it didn’t taste that bad. Very sweet, in fact a little too sweet for my palate. Although originally a white fruit they slowly went pembe (pink) while simmering on the stove. The sugar caramelised nicely and I added a vanilla bean for taste (although I do not think it needed it on reflection) and I did not burn them on the bottom. I must say they may not look as appetising as the professionally made quince, quinces or quini but they were pretty moreish. Daughter was not a fan but her cousins tuckered in and even asked for more.
If you are interested in attempting the recipe (after all if I can do it anyone can) have a look here.
Hopefully my father in law brings me apples next time. I know what to do with them.
Incidentally the correct term for more than one quince is in fact quinces. Mystery solved.