When most people hear the name medlar, Scheherazade's fairy tales and various oriental sweets usually come to mind. In Bulgaria, this rare fruit is grown in small hobby-gardens and is harvested in October and November. The immature medlar is quite hard and sour, but it is sweet and delicious when it becomes soft.
Ripe medlar is mostly eaten fresh. You cannot store it for long, but Bulgarians use it to prepare jam, marmalade, pastille, juices, wine, liqueur, and rakia in the regions where it grows.