These fruits are very hard and acidic. They can only be eaten after being softened by frost. The skin rapidly takes a wrinkled texture after softening begins and it will turn dark brown. Once they are softened they can be eaten raw and they are often eaten with cheese as dessert.
These can also be used to make Medlar jelly and wine. Another famous dish is “medlar cheese”, this dish is similar to lemon curd which is made up with fruit pulp, eggs and butter. Medlars are deciduous large shrubs or small trees growing up to 8 m tall. The leaves of the tree are dark green and elliptic.
In autumn the leaves turn a spectacular red before falling. The five petalled white flowers are hermaphrodite and are produced in late spring and these are pollinated by trees. The fruit is a prone and these are usually two to three centimetres in diameter. Its sepals are wide- spread persistent which will give a hollow appearance to the fruit.
It is a fruit which is related to quinces and apples and it is the part of the rose family. The wood of the tress is light red in colour and it is usually hard with a very fine grain. This wood was often used for canes and walking sticks. This tree will start to bear fruit after 4 to 6 years and these trees are very long lived. The leaves of the tree are long and pointed with underneath hairs.
The scientific classification of medlar is as follows
- Kingdom – Plantae
- Division – Magnoliophyta
- Class – Magnoliopsida
- Order – Rosales
- Family – Rosaceae
- Subfamily – Maloideae or Spiraeoideae
- Genus – Mespilus
Following are the two species of Medlar
- Mespilus canescens
- Mespilus germanica