As a fruit that is well known for its appearances on a cheese board, quinces are much more versatile than most think.
Led by Executive Chef Tony Panetta, ICC Sydney’s culinary team is showcasing this versatile fruit in all it can offer. Featuring in both dessert and savoury dishes, quinces can be found on the venue’s Menu Collection in a seasonal duck entrée as well as in housemade Danishes and the classic cheese and charcuterie board.
Grown in cooler subtropical areas to cold temperate regions, the quinces are from the Rosaceae family and have similar characteristics to that of apples and pears. There are fifteen different varieties of quinces grown in the New South Wales, including in Orange and the Tablelands, with harvesting of the fruit taking place from mid-February to late-April.
“Before I became a chef, I never really understood how to use this ancient fruit. Now I have so many ways that I can utilise and get the most out of them.
“First I love making a quince clafoutis, the batter when cooked forms a light soft pillow.
“I also love to add quince to game dishes, duck is one of my favourites because it really complements the texture and flavour. Adding other flavours to the quince such as Pedro and cinnamon marry perfectly with duck,” he said.
Just as it does for many chefs, for Panetta the availability of quinces symbolises the change of seasons.
“The temperatures drop and the type of food we cook changes – when quinces are in season I know autumn is here,” he said.
Keep an eye out next season for the ingredient Tony and the culinary team will be loving this winter.