name of breton fruit tree

6 Replies



I would really like to find out the exact name of the fruit tree which grows wild in the hedgerows of Brittany.It has white rose like flowers in summer and I was told a long time ago by an old Breton lady that they eat it at Christmas when fruit is pulpy and it also makes excellent jam. The name sounds like Nefra.I think it's related to the quince or apple, , though fruit not like either.I'm sure there is a well informed Anglo Info- er out there who can tell me please?Many thanks.

Featured Classified


orme-384975 1257865361

Sounds like it could be a néflier, which gives a fruit called a nèfle. When I Wikied it I got this in English:

I've seen these around too, but now know you can eat them. Who's going to be first to try?

gabi-424988 1257866343

Thank you so much for that Orme.
Was shown how to eat them many years ago, forgot the name and never found it again. In my hectic life have always 'meant to'. Now I have a tree in my garden which has fruited this year. So would like to use them in a traditional way.
Let's say they are an acquired taste - but full of vitamins. Sharp taste, pasty texture, with big pips inside - supposed to eat them, preferably when they are almost rotten!! An obvious nutritional choice for country Bretons many years ago.
The old Breton Lady who told me about them and made me try some must now be in her mid nineties, bless her.
Now I know have rediscovered the name - will find out more aout recipes - thank you once again Orme.

ChrisB391-416474 1257868721


Yes it will be a neflier - in REngland they are known as Medlar's

If you look on the River Cottage website or in the Books - you will find some recipe's.... It was even featured on the River cottage Autumn series last year.

As an additional bit of info - they are colloquially known as the 'Dog's A*se' - more for the shape I think!!!!

gabi-424988 1257871362

Yes, you're right Chris. The Medlar. We were trying to think of the French and English names all morning - senior moments - knew it was something to do with some medieval fruit talked about in English literature. Now, WE WILL REMEMBER!!!
I've just been reading on one website that they also grow in the Basque country and apart from making jam and eating them raw, there are a few artisans still making a beautiful, traditional, decorated walking stick from 15 year old branches of the Medlar Tree called a Makila. and, on another website, that jars of medlar jam are selling in New York for 60 dollars a pot!!! What a strange but beautiful world world we live in.

preston-410933 1257873370

And you eat them when they are 'bletted'!

gabi-424988 1257877378

The River Cottage website is fantastic. Thanks ChrisB.

Join the discussion