Friday, October 9

Medlar - is it a taste we will acquire?

Our medlar is gradually edging into autumn. The edges of the leaves are yellowing.
Many of the uniquely strange fruits are maturing on the tree. The fruit is ready to be picked from late October to early November. It can be left on the tree as long as there is no danger of frost. 
The fruit isn't fully ripe when it is picked from the tree and needs to be bletted. This process softens the fruit which are hard when picked. To be honest I'm not totally sure that we have got this right and stopped picking the fruits, maybe we should try again this year so if anyone has any tips they will be most welcome.
 The photo below was taken to give some idea of the size of the fruits.
The fruit has been likened to the rear end if a dog which doesn't exactly enhance its appeal does it?

This post is linking to  Lucy's blog if you would like to read about more of the trees that are being followed then  pop across and visit





22 comments:

  1. It looks like you'll have a decent crop if you do decide to harvest them.

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    1. We always feel a little guilty when we don't use them, Jo.

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  2. I think you can leave them on the tree until after a frost, ideally quite a hard one, as that kick starts the bletting process. I'm not sure it'll make them taste any better though!

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    1. I will try that gnman after all there's nothing much to lose.

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  3. Oh, that's funny - and you are right, that description certainly doesn't make them seem any more appetizing!

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    1. That's the polite version, Margaret.

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  4. I looked up "bletting" on Wikipedia ... "Ripe medlars, for example, are taken from the tree and spread on some type of absorptive material (such as straw, sawdust, or bran) somewhere cool, and allowed to ripen for several weeks....and stored until it appears in the first stages of decay; then it is ready for eating." Enjoy!

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    1. That's what we have tried to do in the past, Mark. I think that maybe we went past the first stage of decay though :-(

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  5. I've never eaten them. They are fascinating though! Good luck with the bletting....and as for that description....EEK!xxx

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    1. Not very complimentary is it Dina?

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  6. My medlars disappeared before I got a chance to blet them last year. I wonder if I left them too long? Medlar cheese sounds lovely. Medlar jelly doesn't sound bad. I'm not certain I've got enough on my young tree to make it worth firing up the jam pan though. I look forward to seeing how you get on.

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    1. We have made medlar jelly, Sarah but we were not that impressed by it. I think you need quite a lot of medlars to make medlar. cheese.

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  7. I don't have a medlar tree...maybe I should look into whether the bees would like pollinating one...after your description of the taste and somebody else looking up 'bletting' not entirely sure I would want to harvest the fruit though!!

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    1. Ours is in the garden, Tanya. We bought it more as an ornamental tree and a novelty rather than to eat the fruit. I wouldn't buy it for its fruit. I'm not too sure it would make a good bee tree either.

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  8. Tried medlar jelly, not one of my favourite things!

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    1. It didn't float our boats either Rick

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  9. I'm glad you've posted about this, Sue, as I've been eyeing up the medlars on a couple of street trees in my neighbourhood and wondering if they're worth foraging. Mark Diacono writes about them in his book 'A Taste of the Unexpected' and recommends leaving the fruit to get soft then baking in a moderate oven for 15 minutes and scooping out the flesh to enjoy with honey and cream or with a bit of stilton and some port. (I quote.) It sounds like a medlar tree is worth growing for the spring flowers, would you agree?

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    1. The tree never is covered in blossom, Caro and so the spring display is muted. It's most attractive season is autumn.

      If I wanted a similar slightly unusual fruit tree I would go for a quince. We have one called Meeches Prolific that is lovely in spring and has fruit we enjoy. I thunk I will feature it next year.

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  10. Haha, I've heard that description before too sue, not very appetising sounding, though I've never actually tried them myself.

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    1. We still don't know what we will do with the fruits this year, Lou. We once made medlar jelly but weren't really impressed.

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  11. They really are strange looking fruit Sue! I look forward to hearing about your experiences if you get as far as trying to eat the fruit...

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    1. They may well stay on the tree, Janet

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