While cooking, listen to this: Icky Thump - The White Stripes
When I was still in rabbinical school I took a summer course on feminist literary references to Eve (as in, first woman ever Eve). It was an amazing class that incidentally-but-not-surprisingly was all-women, taught by a badass female professor. We learned all about Eve and what had been written about her - the good and the bad but usually the bad - as well as stories about the actual first woman, Lillith, who was banished by God because she wanted to be equal to Adam and quite literally wanted to be on top of him once in a while. So yeah, God in this story is super into smashing the patriarchy.
Anyway, for our final projects we got to do pretty much whatever we wanted as long as it was about Eve in some way. My arts-and-humanities degree glowed bright with the power that comes from being able to use my creativity, and I decided to research the ideas behind the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve ultimately ate, which got them kicked to the curb and forced out of Eden by God.
Guess what? Nowhere does the text (and by text I mean the straight-up Torah) ever mention that the fruit is an apple. Nowhere! Not once! Isn't that wild? Think about it - how many paintings have you seen with two skinny white people in front of an apple tree? Probably a lot! But there is literally zero reference to an apple in the original story. So where did this apple idea come from?
Well, like most things in a post-Jesus world, Christianity is responsible - I think this is super fascinating but you may not, so I won't bore you with the details, but basically there's a theory that there was a mistranslation of a Latin word for "evil," which is super close to the Latin word for "apple." It's also possible that Latin scholars were just super punny and mistranslated Latin words for fun. We all have our kicks. Christian religious artists ran with this idea, and that's how we ended up with the apple as the symbol of forbidden fruit.
But, but! There are lots of other options for the fruit, too! Included in the mix are figs, pomegranates, wheat and even a psychotropic mushroom. Seriously - there's a 13th century mural out there somewhere with Adam and Eve on either side of a big-ass mushroom that researchers figured out is one that would get you high as a kite. Another option for the forbidden fruit, though? The quince.
Now, I think that a fig or a pomegranate, or hell, even a psychotropic mushroom, would make sense as the forbidden fruit. Figs and pomegranates are beautiful and, I guess, sexy (?) and psychotropic mushrooms seem like a great way to pass the time. Quinces, though, are inedible unless they're cooked, they're lumpy and they have this weird, sticky fuzz on them. I don't know about you, but if I was told to stay the hell away from a quince tree, I wouldn't have a difficult time following through.
Cooked, though? Much harder to ignore. When quince is cooked down, it turns into the most gorgeous shade of pink (and we LOVE pink around here, as you can see just from the site.) One of the most popular ways to eat it is in a thick paste called membrillo (which is also the Spanish word for "quince"), which is so bomb with salty cheese. What to do with the leftover poaching syrup, though? Pour it into gin. Duh.
This pink cocktail not only has that gorgeous pink syrup, but also grapefruit juice to balance out the sweetness of the quince. It tastes marverlous, and is a great cocktail option at any (or all!) of your upcoming holiday parties. No one will banish you from the house for whipping up this beautiful drink, and if they do then they're an angry God and who wants to play with them anyway. Well, you know what I mean.
Anyway, cheers to you, friends. Raise your pink glass tall, demand gender equality and get yours.
Love and meows, Rina
GIN + QUINCE COCKTAIL
Yield: 1 cocktail
Active Cook Time: 10m | Inactive Cook Time: 1h | Total Cook Time: 1h 10m
Source: Serious Eats
2 pounds quince, peeled and quartered
5 cups water
½ cup honey
½ cup sugar
2 ounces gin
½ ounce grapefruit juice, fresh
¼ ounce lemon juice, fresh
1 ounce quince syrup
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters*
*We didn't use the bitters because our fave liquor store didn't have them. The cocktail still tasted delicious without it, so don't fret if you can't find any!
Prepare the quince syrup: in a large saucepan, combine the quince, water, honey and sugar and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 45-50 minutes, or until the quince pieces can be pierced with a fork. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then strain the syrup into a bowl or jar - you can use the poached quince for quince paste! Refrigerate the syrup until you're ready to use it.
Prepare the cocktail: if you want to be super fancy, put some ice in the glass you're using to cool it, and take it out right when you're ready to serve. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice (or honestly, just put it directly in the glass if you don't have a shaker - we won't tell), add the gin, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, quince syrup and, if using, bitters. Shake for 20 seconds to thoroughly chill, then pour into your glass. Enjoy!
To keep: the quince syrup can be made in advance and kept in a well-sealed container for up to 5 days.