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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Of Chokos and Quinces

Hi All. Ok so it must be weird fruit week here.

I had not tried eating a choko since my mother served the tasteless, slimey things up when I was very young (quite some time ago).
They are often found in New Zealand in cardboard boxes with - "FREE - Help Yourself" written on them. After which they sit around and grow sprouts then get thrown out. 
He just looked in need of a face

It turns out that not many people like them.
When Derek brought one home (he likes them), I decided it was time to see if I could make them edible. You do need to peel them and cut them up small.
I tentatively added a quarter to a stir-fry....yep that's ok, can't taste it..then to a soup...again good....fritters, as a replacement for courgettes....again fine.
So last weekend when I saw another carton of free chokos...I picked one out and took it home!


This week we were given a bag of quinces. I've never cooked these before, but have tasted them in quince paste and a friend does a magnificent quince and chilli jelly.
I discovered a sticker on the fruit to say they had come from Pompallier House in Russell, so they are from a very old orchard, an heirloom variety.
I wasn't sure that they were going to taste any good, so stewed a few, then happy with the result I have stewed the lot. 
We've been eating them for breakfast, and they'll be good mixed with other fruit in crumbles etc.
Quinces are rather like pears in texture, and have a delicate but distinctive flavour of their own.

Pompallier House

photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

Bishop Pompallier bought land in Russell, Northland New Zealand in 1839. The building was constructed in 1841-2 for use as a printery, also housing a tannery for book binding. (They used urine to tan the leather back then).
In 1842 it produced it's first Maori translations of religious texts.
Pompallier House is open for visitors these days. It is about as old as buildings get here in New Zealand.

.<a href=""><img alt="" src=""/></a><br/>This photo of Pompallier Mission and Printery is courtesy of TripAdvisor


  1. Two words for you Anne...Choko pickles!
    They are the best!

    1. Ooh Cheryl, I'm not sure that I'm up to that level of chokoieness. We don't seem to eat of lot of pickle here, so I'll just take your word for it at this stage.Thanks for the tip though.

  2. I have heard of quince but not chokes and I have tasted neither one. I hope you find some tasty recipes as you can't beat FREE and LOCAL!

    1. I meant chokos but spellcheck keeps changing it! I just looked it up and we call them chayote squash. I thought they were used by Asians but I see that they come here from South and Central America. Ha! I learned something today before breakfast!

  3. Hi. I just discovered your blog a few days ago and have enjoyed looking around in it. Although I live in Hawaii, I grew up in NZ. I remember the quince tree in our orchard when I was a kid. It was absolutely beautiful when in blossom....the reason we always buried our dead pets under it. Mum would make quince jelly and said that the fruit was not really edible so I was surprised to see people in Turkey enjoying quince as a fresh fruit when I was there a few years ago. I tried some out and found it way better than expected. Aloha

    1. Aloha Stellamarina! Ah, I love Hawaii - and I've just signed on to follow your blog - will look forward to having a good delve soon. It's amazing isn't it how we can get to a decent age and still be learning about new tastes, always something to learn!


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