Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers



Author Topic: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw  (Read 5404 times)

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
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

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 291
  • Zone 8b-9a
    • Europe
    • View Profile
    • Visual Art
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.
Looking for seeds of Eugenia Beaurepairiana

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
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

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 291
  • Zone 8b-9a
    • Europe
    • View Profile
    • Visual Art
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...
Looking for seeds of Eugenia Beaurepairiana

Caesar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
    • PR
    • View Profile
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 190
    • Bay Area, California
    • View Profile
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
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 »

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2018, 06:52:01 PM »
Kuganskaya blooming



I may be completely wrong about this, but I believe the fragrange of the blossoms smells a little different from those of Orange quince. It smells just a little bit in the direction of how pear blossoms smell (which don't really smell the best but it's a distinctive smell). This is complete conjecture here but this observation would support a theory that some of these Russian quinces may have been brought about through interspecies hybridization (maybe not the immediate prior generation but a few generations back).

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2018, 11:21:14 AM »
Fruits forming on Crimea



Kuganskaya has fruits too.


« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 11:26:24 AM by SoCal2warm »

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2018, 09:31:19 PM »
Crimea fruit


Before cutting it open the outside has a faint fragrance of pear and vanilla. Aftering cutting it open there's an apple aroma. The texture inside of this quince is like a Granny Smith apple (that's very tender for an uncooked quince fruit). Just in terms of texture, I had absolutely no problem eating a slice of this quince. It didn't have to be thin sliced. There was some slight to moderate level of astringency though. Slightly less than half as astringent as a regular quince. I would say that overall, this rises to a level close to edibility raw.

After being cooked, it wasn't really all that amazing. Almost kind of potato-like.
It didn't turn pink during cooking at all, probably because of the lower level of tannins in this variety. Has a slightly lemon-like aspect to the flavor.


Kuganskaya fruit


I tasted an unripe Kuganskaya (still mostly green). This has surprisingly tender texture. If Crimea was like an underripe Granny Smith Apple, Kuganskaya is like a ripe Granny Smith that you would find in a supermarket.
The texture is not just tender it's also very smooth, almost "buttery". No fibrousness. If someone handed a slice of this to me and I closed my eyes, I almost wouldn't know it was a quince. Unfortunately it does have some astringency like a Hachiya persimmon.
I give this a 10 out of 10 for texture.

Before cutting open, the fruit exuded a slight caramel pear fragrance with vanilla. Kuganskaya definitely leans closer in the direction of pear flavor than Crimea. The cut fruits almost had a "cooling" pear smell to them (something I did not notice in cut Crimea fruit), although it was kind of subtle.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 09:45:15 PM by SoCal2warm »

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2018, 01:25:02 PM »
Kuganskaya




The Crimea fruits on the tree are beginning to develop a more quince-like fragrance now.

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2018, 01:43:24 PM »
Crimea fruit





Texture not very much dissimilar to a Granny Smith apple.
Slightly astringent, but better than a bad Hachiya persimmon.

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2018, 01:58:07 PM »
Would I say these two are "edible"?
Well, sort of. Maybe on the border between "semi-edible" and "edible", definitely edible in a survival situation.
They're interesting, and quince has kind of an intriguing flavor, and I might feel like snacking on a little bit, but I don't think I'd feel inclined to eat a whole fruit in one sitting. Maybe about a fourth to a third of the fruit makes me feel like I've had enough (although the size is a little bigger than an apple).

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2018, 04:03:02 PM »
Kuganskaya, ripening up more now:



I bought a quince at the regular market and did a comparison between the Crimea and the market quince. It really made me realize how edible these special quinces were by comparison. For the market-bought quince, it was like biting into something very dense, and the first bite was like swallowing sawdust. For the Crimea, it was only a tad bit dry, and that was really more after the second slice. I'm not really sure you'd even notice any astringency if you only had one slice and it was thinly cut. The Crimea, you really have to eat two or three thick-cut slices before it really starts becoming unbearably astringent. The Crimea is absolutely edible in comparison.

I'm going to say the texture/flavor of Crimea leans a little more towards apple, and the texture/flavor of Kuganskaya leans a little more towards pear.

Keep in mind this is in the Pacific Northwest, and most of the ripening period is going into the cool season. I'm sure they'd probably ripen better somewhere much further South.

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Karp's Sweet Quince, and other Quince for eating raw
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2018, 08:44:50 PM »
Kuganskaya fruit

Now that it is more ripe, I can eat it (almost) just like an apple.
It is more acidic though.

But I will point out it's substantially less astringent than a Hachiya persimmon. In the two thick-cut slices I just tried I almost didn't notice any astringency at all! (Though I'm sure it might have started to become more noticeable if I had more)

Also to mention, the exterior of the fruit began developing a rich apple fragrance (not strong but slightly stronger than an heirloom apple from a tree).

 

Copyright © Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers