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When I was growing up in deepest Wiltshire, I accepted without question my mother's helpful explanation that quinces were the fruit of the japonica. Growing older brought partial knowledge and general uncertainty, here and elsewhere.

And then, thanks to Internet searches and easy access to information, I discovered the full answer:

Quinces are rare and special fruit for me whatever stock they may have grown on. I found some on Vilvoorde market one autumn, and bought them with a view to finding out what to do with them. They perfumed the whole kitchen for three days before I grated them into an apple pie, which tasted quite delicious even if the filling was bright and unexpected pink.

I should have consulted my copy of Maxime McKendry's Seven hundred years of English cooking, which offers one intriguing recipe for quinces baked in retsina with saffron and all-spice and another for individual quince pies with cinnamon and ginger.