No, EatingAsia has not gone pornographic.
The title's words are not mine, but Shakespeare's, employed in Romeo and Juliet to characterize the rather unattractive medlar fruit:
Now will he sit under a medlar tree,
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.
O Romeo, that she were, O that she were
An open-arse and thou a poperin pear!
I'd never heard of medlar before this last trip to Turkey. We spied this relative of the quince in several Istanbul markets. After a new acquaintance in Istanbul described the fruit's flavor (and clued me into the Shakespeare reference) we picked up a few hundred grams and left them on our kitchen counter to ripen.
And ripen they did. Or, more accurately, they "bletted" -- the word used to describe the rotting state in which the medlar is eaten. (I love the sound of that, by the way: "The fruit is bletted.") Unblettted, the fruit's flesh is hard and vanilla white. Bletted, it's mushy and brown, with the consistency of thick apple sauce.
You know the medlar is ripe when it's become wrinkly and is showing a wee bit of mold at the, er, open arse end. To eat it, spread the 'petals' and pry off the little 'cap' that sits in their center. Then squeeze gently, and the flesh oozes out the top. (You can also open it rather messily by ripping off the top and a few strips along the side and squeezing, as a market vendor did for us in this photo.)
The medlar is full of small hard seeds that you can just swallow or hold in your mouth as you use your tongue to separate them from the flesh. It tastes something like apple butter with a hit of lemon juice and some very ripe Bartlett pear thrown in. It's a comforting, autumn/winter flavor. Jelly is made from medlar, and we met a cocktail master in Istanbul who concocts a mixer with the flesh. But I can see it cleaned of seeds and spread as is, on a piece of toast with butter or between layers of a walnut cake.
Our new friendship with the medlar was an unexpected bonus of this wintertime trip to Turkey. We hope to meet again next year -- same place, same time.