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Author Topic: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw  (Read 974 times)

SoCal2warm

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Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« on: October 21, 2016, 06:19:26 PM »
Is anyone here growing 'Karp's Sweet' Quince? (It's supposedly the best variety for eating raw, but only when grown in warm climates like Southern California)

I have a tree but it has not produced fruits yet. And I haven't heard any updates from anyone else about this variety for several years.
Anyone growing it and can comment on the fruit?


By the way, if you're in a more northern climate, the best varieties are probably Krimskaya and Aromatnaya, the latter of which is a bit softer but not as good flavor.

Quince has an amazing aroma, for those of you who may not know, and the flavor of the raw fruit is unique. Of course, quince is usually dense, spongy, and most often too astringent to eat raw. It's important to point out though that some varieties are better than others in this regard, and the level of ripeness which the fruit attains can make a big difference. Trying to eat raw quince is not for everyone, but supposedly the variety Karp's Sweet could change all that. In Latin American countries quince is typically sliced very thin and served with a chili vinegar sauce with crushed peanuts. I also think the quinces grown in Latin American countries tend to be less astringent than the traditional normal American varieties, but that could just be the warmer climate. It's hard to know since quince in Latin America are very often heirloom varieties grown from seed.

Solko

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2016, 02:21:05 PM »
I don't grow any quince myself, but I have bought and eaten the ones you can eat raw on the market and I think they are good. but I like a lot of fruit  ;D

This year I have been cooking all quinces I bought into jelly, 'membrillo' and 'applebutter', which is my favorite so far for this fruit. So I am actually more inclined to look for the ones you can cook... I have never tried the thin slices with chili, but I'll definitely do that...

The quince jelly is so flavorful, though, that I would grow apples and pears for eating out of hand, and quinces for making jellies.
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SoCal2warm

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 01:14:51 PM »
While France is famed for its quince, I would not think you would find the quince that is suitable for eating raw there. From what I've heard, the softest least astringent varieties come from the area around the Black Sea (in Russia, and maybe to a lesser extent Turkey) and in Latin America (Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Peru). Climate also makes a big difference, quince ripens most fully in warm climates with long summer heat, that's when the quince will become its softest, most aromatic, least astringent, and sweetest. The south of France is certainly not a bad place to grow quince, but it's not as good as somewhere like Mexico.

Probably the best one out of the ordinary varieties for trying to eat raw, and the one I suspect you have eaten, is "Orange" quince. While it's not terrible for eating raw, it's not as palatable as Aromatnaya (Russian variety from the Black Sea). Karp's Sweet (which originated from the Majes valley in Peru) is supposed to be on a whole different level, very close to the level of a Granny Smith apple, when it's at its best (grown somewhere like Southern California or Mexico). 

Solko

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2016, 05:01:36 AM »
The idea of eating quince raw is new to the French, yes. The quinces from Serbia and around the Black Sea are supposed to be edible raw, but there is no verdict yet on their taste if they are grown in this region. The two varieties I know of that some people are growing in France are Miagkoplodnaja Wolgogradskaja and Aromatnaya, with the first one reportedly much better than the last...
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Caesar

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2016, 11:42:32 PM »
What's the chill hour requirement? Can it be grown in a chill-free zone? I know that's the case with low-chill apples, pears and stonefruit, with an up to 200 hour requirement (the lower the better), but I'm not sure about Quince.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 02:36:31 AM »
What's the chill hour requirement? Can it be grown in a chill-free zone? I know that's the case with low-chill apples, pears and stonefruit, with an up to 200 hour requirement (the lower the better), but I'm not sure about Quince.
I believe quince can be grown in zone 10, although it's not as productive. It prefers zone 9. However, the quince in Mexico may be in an altogether different category, as it has adapted to some extent to local climatic conditions over the course of many generations of being grown there (very often being propagated by seed). Something peculiarly interesting, unlike other quince varieties, 'Karp's Sweet' does not appear to behave deciduously here, not losing its leaves in the winter.

Some people have noted that Karp's Sweet does not appear to be as productive, in terms of fruit, as other varieties, but that could just be because it is a hardier variety, so it could take more years until it becomes more productive. Fruit trees whose growth is stunted (e.g. by rootstock) tend to be more precocious, producing fruit at an earlier age. (of course the growth being stunted too much isn't a good thing either) The point is that Karp's Sweet appears to have adapted to the semi-tropical climate where its lineage existed for many generations, so maybe, I would speculate, there is less of a need for it to go through a cycle of dormancy in order for it to be productive. This would likely be true for many other Latin American quinces as well, though I do not have any experience with them.

One thing I will say is that quince stands up better to heat and dry conditions than apple, so it is particularly suitable to Southern California in that sense. A quince tree can also be fairly drought tolerant after it has had time to become established.

Conversely, quince is very prone to disease in climates with high heat combined with high humidity. All this is not surprising when you consider the part of the world where quince comes from. Quince can be grown as far north as Maine or Nova Scotia however.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 03:06:33 AM by SoCal2warm »

BrianL

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2016, 07:13:23 PM »
I've had fruit set issues here with Karp's Sweet, but my Pineapple does get soft enough to eat fresh if you leae it on the tree.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2017, 08:08:57 PM »
Here's my Karp's Sweet quince tree:





There are several blossoms on it. No fruit yet.

Apparently, at least for me in climate zone 10, Karp's Sweet does behave deciduously, but not absolutely entirely since there were 3 green leaves (albeit a little brown) left on it throughout the winter.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 08:13:09 PM by SoCal2warm »

SoCal2warm

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 05:58:16 PM »
From the research I've been reading, it seems like 'Crimea' and 'Kuganskaya' may be good varieties for eating raw. One source commented that Kuganskaya appeared to be inferior to Aromatnaya in every way (fruit size, aroma of the fruit, disease resistance) so they pulled the tree out of the ground. But another source I read commented that, while Aromatnaya was good for fresh eating, it didn't have as much flavor as Kuganskaya. It might be a personal preference thing, or maybe they should have waited longer to let their tree mature to see if the fruit quality improved. I'm sure these different Russian varieties are all very similar but there may be subtle good things to these particular cultivars.

So I got these two and put them in the ground. (They are at a different location, zone 8a. That should make things interesting, I can compare how much of an effect chill hours have on productivity.)
Will let you know after they produce fruit.

From the descriptions they sound very mild, sweeter and a bit softer than regular quince, and non-astringent. But I haven't actually got to personally taste them yet.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 03:37:21 PM by SoCal2warm »

SoCal2warm

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 03:30:52 PM »
Here's a picture that appeared in the LA Times of Peruvian Apple Quince taken at the Santa Monica farmer's market:





The particular fruit being sold at the stand was grown by Weiser Family Farms in Tehachapi, but this variety came from Edgar Valdivia, who was the first to grow it in the U.S. This same variety is also sometimes referred to as "Karp's Sweet", in no small part because Karp was the one who wrote the article and took this picture.

http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/lat-la-karp-1005-la0011679655-20121017-photo.html

SoCal2warm

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 02:55:09 PM »
Karp's Sweet



SoCal2warm

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Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 06:06:54 PM »
Crimea (I believe this is the same cultivar as 'Krimskaya')




Kuganskaya


« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 06:16:48 PM by SoCal2warm »

 

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