Medlars - the art of bletting

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Medlars are a unique fruit - under loved by some but revered by others - this tasty custard apple-like tree has become a new love for me. Unique and under appreciated foods tend to find their way into my life actually ;). 

This most recent harvest back in early December was from Portland Community College Rock Creek - where I'll be attending the winter sessions on Environmental Landscape Management

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Cultivated in southern Europe - in parts of Bulgaria and modern day Turkey, the Medlar is harvested around the same time as the persimmon and, instead of being deliciously edible right off the tree, Medlars need to go through a process of ripening called bletting

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Bletting is similar to letting fruit ripen - like a banana or an avocado - and with Medlar, the longer ya wait, the better they get. Simply harvest the fruit when dark and firm (first picture above) and store in a typical cool, dark place. You know they're done when soft and developing a rich dark skin. I preferred cooking them up with butter...lots of butter, maple syrup and some nutmeg. 

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