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Sunday, June 19, 2016


After 3 posts on links to free downloads of historical documents that have no copy rights anymore, here's something easy to digest. Today, I'll be posting something about food, with recipes. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Quinces and guava fruits.

Marmelada, quince jam, is a typical Iberian jam, that, after cooking, becomes solid and can be preserved for many months. Quinces are fruits that are picked in the Fall, so quince jam is made for Winter.
It is such an old recipe that its origins are lost in time, but still a very normal thing to have in a Portuguese household today.

                                                    Marmelada. Image taken from: redecompeixe.blogspot.com

Goiabada is a jam made from the guava fruit and has its origins in Brazil, made by the 1st Portuguese colonials as a substitute to marmelada who brought the sugar cane with them.
In many former English colonies it is known as guava cheese.

                                                  Goiabada. Image taken from: poetaluizclaudio.arteblog.com.br

Funny thing though, and this is why I love History, there are 2 types of quinces and 2 types of guava and both make or a whiter marmelada/goiabada or a reder marmelada/goiabada. Isn't life funny?

Some interesting facts on marmelada: Portuguese sailors as soon as the 16th century would take this delight as part of their provisions, because of its easy keep and storage, without knowing that they were consuming vitamin C and avoiding scurvy.
It was even one of the first gifts handed to representatives of these strange new places that the Portuguese visited and who's inhabitants saw the first white Europeans for the first time.
Well, I said it was an easy post to digest, so here are some recipes:

Link to a Portuguese cook book of 1780. Go to page 217 for the marmelada recipe or just watch the video below.

Marmelada recipe (and you guessed it, the Goiababa is made the same way, with or without the peel):
- 2 kg of quinces
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 200 ml of water
- 3/4 of the weight of the quinces, after they're peeled and pits removed, in sugar

Clean and cut the quinces as shown and add them to a pot with all the remaining ingredients.
Cook it for 1 hour on slow heat.
Mash the boiled fruit into a pulp and let it cook for another 10 min.
NOTE: the longer you cook the jam, the more solid it becomes.
Test the jam as shown, to see if it is "au point", divide it into little sterelized bowls, cober it in cooking paper soaked in snaps.

You can eat the jam, after it's cold, as a desert with cheese, or just (how I like it) with bread and loads of butter.

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