Ever grab a quince thinking it was an apple? Not a fun surprise... The Ancient Greeks knew quinces that were slowly cooked with honey would be a wonderful treat when cooled. They called them melimēlon, or "honey apple." A few thousand years later, the Portuguese word for it became "marmelo."
This time of year, the fall quinces are ripe in Portugal, with a sweet flood scent, they are ready for marmalade-making. Enter marmelada, a think brick of goodness that Portuguese love at tea time - mixed with cheese and fresh bread. A match made in heaven!
In Portugal, there are quince groves in from Lisbon into the interior of the Centro and Norte..
Our friends at he Oxford English Dictionary tell us that "marmalade" appeared in the English language around 1480, borrowed from French marmelade which, in turn, came from the Portuguese marmelada. The Portuguese word is to be found is Gil Vicente’s 1521 play Comédia de Rubena-
- Temos tanta marmelada
- Que a minha mãe vai me dar um pouco
We have so much marmalade
That my mother will give me a little