If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.
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.

--Mercutio in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, II, 1

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(Mespilus germanica)

The medlar tree, which is related to roses, is small and deciduous and grows wild in all the temperate regions of Europe. Its apple-shaped brown fruit has been cultivated for centuries--and what a tart, acidic fruit it is. Usually, it's left for harvesting until after the first frost, for mellowing, then it's stored until it is as ripe and soft as possible.