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Medlar Trees


Medlar Trees

Medlar frui trees are a classic European garden favorite.  They are revered for their ornamental value and for their delicious, unique fruit.  Medlar fruit is about 2 inches in diameter, soft brown in color and born from large, beautiful white flowers.  It has a flavor reminiscent of spiced applesauce and pear and can be eaten fresh, cooked, roasted or in pies and jellies.  Medlars like 1/2 day to a full day of sun and well-drained soil and is hardy to minus 25 degrees F.

How to harvest Medlars:  Depending on the local climate where medlars are grown, the fruit is either left to ripen on the tree until late October or November. The correct time to harvest is when the fruits part easily from the tree. In fact, if they are picked too early the fruit will shrivel and fail to ripen properly. When harvesting, the fruit should be quite hard and unpalatable. Medlars should be picked in a dry condition and brought indoors and kept in a cool, light place until the fruit begins to wrinkle, soften and become dark brown in appearance. With medlars, the fermentation process must start before they can be consumed, turning the bitter tasting flavor into sweetness, which usually occurs within two or three weeks. An English botanist John Lindley used the term “bletting” to describe this process. The fruit will ripen in succession over a period of several weeks. The taste is of spiced apples and pears and the fragrant fruit can be eaten fresh or cooked. However, the appearance of the ripen fruit has been described as “soft brown pulp resembling that f decayed apples”. Medlars were traditionally eaten with cheese and port wine at the end of a meal.