Quince is the fruit from medium sized tree of the Rosaceae family that grows well in temperate climates. It’s fruit is hard and with few natural sugars, so it is cooked with sugar to give it sweetness and brilliance to become Membrillo. It is perfectly preserved at room temperature and was a highly-valued food in peasant cultures for its high calorie (sugar) and fruity and astringent taste (pectins, mucilage and malic acid) that cleanses and complements strong-tasting, saline, or hot and spicy foods. Valliser is a family business that makes handmade Membrillo in Catalonia, where it is know in Catalan as Codonyat.
In Spain, the sweet quince was commonly consumed as a complement to fresh goat and sheep’s, or very cured (spicy, salty and a stale point), cheeses. In recent years it has become common to serve Membrillo as a contrast to blue cheeses.