As you know by now, we’re devoted to sharing the weirdest, wackiest, and most bizarre wonders of the world with our readers. That’s why we felt the need to republish this article from Talia at Bite Size Wellness in an effort to satiate your (and our) wanderlust for obscure treasures around the globe. You’ve probably never heard of the medlar fruit, which reached the peak of its popularity around the time Shakespeare was killing off tweens in his plays, but the mysterious treat can be found in small pockets all around the world. There’s just one catch – you have to let it rot before you can eat it. We’ll let Talia explain further:
Unlike most fruits, medlar fruit is to be eaten when it is squishy. If it is eaten prematurely you will be hit with a harsh flavor and it is only after the ripening process known as bletting that you can indulge one of autumn’s best kept fruit secrets. When the fruit reaches its peak softness with the taste and feel of fruit butter, you know it is time to bite in. Sounds appetizing, right? The medlar appears in markets when autumn hits, but it is really a fruit to enjoy in the winter months after it has had the proper amount of time to ripen in a cool dry place.
The compost brown heap takes some getting used to because you have to get past the fact that rotton equals goodness. But, once you get past the strangeness of the bletting and embrace the soft medlar you are in for a treat. It tastes like apple sauce with delicate notes of cinnamon, vanilla and cider. The complex combination of several flavors is a blissful flavor on your tongue. The consistency of the pulp is like a baked sweet potato. Think of it as fruit butter served to you conveniently on the skin of a medlar instead of on a piece of toast. It is the classic tale of I-am-ugly-but-I-taste-so-good.
The elusive small brown fruit used to make appearances in many medieval and Renaissance-era feasts. These days they are harder to come by but now that you are in-the-know you may have an easier hunt for the medlar. It is unlikely that you will find a medlar on your supermarket shelf, but a farmer’s market my surprise you.
So how can you eat a fruit that is basically pulp? You can enjoy the fruit out of your hand by breaking the skin open and slurping up the buttery insides with a spoon or a straw. Or try one of these recipes:
- Take the buttery medlar substance and mix it into your oatmeal or yogurt.
- Spread some medlar fruit on your morning toast, bagel or English muffin.
- A popular method of eating the bletted medlars in the the form of jelly. Here is a jelly recipe to meddle with.
- You can even bake with a medlar. Try this medlar cupcake recipe.
Are you brave enough to give the medlar a try? How would you eat it?