Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Roast Pork Loin with Service Tree Pomes Sauce

Carré di Maiale Arrosto con Salsa di Sorbe
How many times have you heard of fruits now forgotten but which were once so present in popular tradition to inspire many popular proverbs or even be mentioned in Dante's Divine Comedy?

« Col tempo e con la paglia maturano le sorbe. »

«Service tree pomes ripen with straw and time. »

(italian traditional proverb)

« ed è ragion, ché tra li lazzi sorbi
si disconvien fruttare al dolce fico. »

(Dante, Inferno, XV, 65-65)


The fruit of the service tree is one of them and now it's very difficult to find if not in some farmer markets which are periodically held in various town over the Apennine mountains.

It is harvested in autumn still immature, so to avoid to fall on the ground, and left to ripen, once spreaded on straw, until it becomes very mature and take on a purplish brown color.

When unripen its taste is bitter and astringent, absolutely not fit to be eaten, with the right ripeness it becomes sweet while keeping a very personal flavor with a hint of bitterness reminiscent of boiled wine.

It was used in the traditional popular cuisine, especially for the preparation of jams (along with sugar, vanilla and/or lemon zest), to prepare the Italian recipe of the famous mead, the drink derived from fermented honey water, or even a kind of cider by fermenting the pomes in some water.

The most common consumption of this fruit, however, was "direct", ie choosing the ripest ones in the attics where they were spread to mature and bringing them to the table during the winter days when other fruits were absent.

The recipe I am proposing is instead more "sophisticated", although also traditional and rather old, and sees the pomes used to prepare a sauce that can be served over red meat (as in this case) but also on turkey or guinea fowl, or even on freshwater seafood.


Ingredients (serves 4)

2 1/5 lb. boneless loin of pork

⅔ lb. very ripe service tree pomes

½ cup honey

3½ oz. bacon

2 quinces

2 teaspoons quince seed cloves

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 sprig of rosemary

2 cups white wine





Dress the meat with cloves and bacon. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper and place in a oven preheated at 350 F for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile peel the quinces, remove core and cut into rounds. Melt in a pan half honey along with two cups of wine and dip the quince rounds. Cook until soft. Remove the rounds and keep them aside, pour into the pan the service tree pomes, the other honey, cinnamon and ginger and a bit of water if needed. Cook until the pomes will be completely mushed. Pour through a sieve to remove skin and seeds and cook againthe sauce until it has the desired thickness while adding a pinch of salt. Arrange the roast on a bed made with quince rounds and cover with sauce. Put in the oven just enough to warm it whole and serve.


La gastronomia dei frutti dimenticati: di Graziano Pozzetto - Sorba

Wikipedia: Sorbus

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13 commenti :

Miriam said...

So interesting, I didn't know that fruit could be eaten. Beautiful loin!

pegasuslegend said...

sounds wonderful and I love that we can eat your pictures as they look so mouth watering

Spicie Foodie said...

Great recipe and fantastic photo! Makes my mouth water. By the way your new design looks great.

Drick said...

yes, I can see this sauce on many meats, especially would like it with turkey...might have to rethink my giblet gravy....

Jessie said...

that roast pork loin looks so mouthwatering and tongue tantalizing!

Rochelle said...

Beautiful photos and great idea for a pork loin, I'll have to remember this and give it a try next time I have one :D

Alessandro Guerani said...


I knew it but I never had the chance to taste it before: what a pleasant surprise!

Alessandro Guerani said...


It was really wonderful. The meat was great to start from and the unusual taste of the sauce was really a great surprise as I said above.

Alessandro Guerani said...

@Spicie Foodie

Thanks! I'm almost done with the redesign of the blog... I still have to improve some parts but I'm pretty happy about it (and it works on all the net browsers I have on the PC now).

Alessandro Guerani said...


Hmmm... if you can find these fruits I'd also try to use them inside a stuffed turkey together with apples and prunes,

Alessandro Guerani said...


Thanks for your comment! Hope to see you again here ;)

Alessandro Guerani said...


Yeah! I hope to "advertise" a bit these fruits because here in Italy they've became pretty forgotten.

CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta said...

Your roast looks like sheer loveliness. Bravo!

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