VIII: Quince

Meet the actual forbidden fruit.

VIII: Quince
A quince in flight. Photo by Alexander Schimmeck / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is octidi, the 28th of Brumaire, Year CCXXXI. We celebrate le coing, which swears it's not a pear.

A quince is halfway between an apple and a pear, with the worst of each instead of the best. You've got the pear's semi-soft skin that bruises the fruit easily, and the apple's crispy meat that goes brown 30 seconds after cutting. And it has a terrible taste when eaten raw. I'm including this as a fruit, because that's how you're most likely to encounter these in the world, but in my opinion, the flowers that precede the fruit are the best part – pale pink, full-petaled, and super attractive to butterflies.

Throw away the apple. If you want to have a more accurate depiction of the Garden of Eden, the fruit that was most likely to have tempted Eve – the one that is simply written as "fruit" in the original Hebrew, so anything's likely – is the quince. Apples were mealy and fussy and slow to be cultivated in the Mediterranean, but the quince has been, and continues to be, a staple of orchards across the Middle East.

That's not the only way the quince has hidden in plain sight.