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Membrillo quince paste
A taste trip to the Old World

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Imagine yourself taking in the sun in Valencia or walking the majestic grounds at Santiago di Campostella in northern Spain. At the end of a peaceful day, you might meet up with the locals and enjoy a traditional dessert combination of salty fried almonds, manchego cheese, and quince paste — a jelly-like concoction made of heavenly sweet and fragrant fruit. Back in the United States, you might find the locals adding a cracker or slice of bread to this delectable taste trio. Whoever said that only a cream-cheese brownie or sacher torte could sate a sweet tooth should think again — and then take a taste trip to Cambridge.

For $14.50 a pound, Formaggio Kitchen sells Membrillo, an artisanal version of quince paste, and it doesn’t disappoint. You can buy whatever quantity you need; a little slice goes a long way. Formaggio also sells the Manchego Artesano from La Mancha ($13.95) and Catalonian almonds fried in extra-virgin olive oil ($4.95). For a full taste experience, one Formaggio staff person suggests that you eat small portions of the paste and the cheese together, and every once in a while eat an almond or two. Repeat as necessary.

Whether you’re at Old Silver Beach, by the Charles River, or relaxing on a summer’s evening picnic in Beantown, this dessert could easily transport you to another time and place.

Available at Formaggio Kitchen, located at 244 Huron Avenue, in Cambridge. Call (617) 354-4750.

Issue Date: July 26 - August 2, 2001