Quince paste, known as membrillo in Spain, is phenomenal when paired with cheese (especially Manchego cheese). I first discovered this paste (more like a firm jelly) from my mom, who always has it in stock. It is sweet without being overly so, and truly is a great addition to a cheese plate.
You can buy it at Whole Foods or any gourmet store, and here online. In Pound Ridge (Westchester NY), you can buy it at Plum Plums, an adorable 500 square foot cheese store with more than just cheese (but a lot of cheese). Read about them in the Wall Street Journal here.
So what is a quince? It’s a hard fruit that looks sort of like a cross between an apple and a pear. Most varieties you can’t eat raw. They cook up pink and have a sweet floral aroma. Similar to apples and pears, they’re in season during the fall.
If you have plans to entertain this weekend, then I highly suggest adding a quince paste to your cheese plate. Your guests will be truly happy (and you will have something new to talk about!). Have a great weekend.