For this post I am going to break my rule of literary chronology, leaving the early 18th century novel for the time being in order to revisit the late 16th century and an author who has featured frequently in this blog, namely Mr William Shakespeare. And the cause of this literary rewind is the quince, the strange, knobbly pear-like fruit which, as the Observer food writer Nigel Slater says, “can’t be eaten raw” and is “a devil to peel”. We have a quince tree in the garden and about a month ago my landlady challenged me to find some literary/culinary uses for the plethora of fruit that ripen and rot very quickly if not picked and made good use of; I like a challenge, so the research began.

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