QUINCE JAM

By Melinda Palacio
for Roberto at Babita’s Restaurant and for Eddie

Roberto knows the tricky fruit is best
used in jam. He doesn’t listen to
culinary norms, but tries it
in a port sauce on a rack of lamb.

The fruit looks like a lemon gone wrong,
wanting
to be a sweet pear.

Its name squeezes member and embryo:
membrillo.
Not too pretty to a foreign ear,
but music to my native tongue.

I stick my finger into sweet paste,
taste brilliance paired with manchego
cheese.

An ounce of quince and a second
of sweetness to forgive
the sorrows of a lost home.

quince


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