Quince is the fruit of quince, a small tree 4 to 6 meters high originating in Iran. This tree only grows in very hot climates. The quince season is in the fall.
Its thin green skin turns yellow when the fruit is ripe. The flesh is very fragrant, dry and firm. Quince cannot be eaten raw.
Characteristics of quince:
- Rich in fiber, especially pectin;
- Little sweet;
- Rich in antioxidants;
- Rich in vitamin C;
- Lowers blood cholesterol and blood sugar.
What is quince?
Food identity card
- Type: Fruit;
- Family: Rosaceae;
- Origin: Iran;
- Season: October to November;
- Yellow color ;
- Flavor: Tart.
Characteristics of the food
When harvested, the quince can weigh between 200 and 300g. It is a fruit whose shape is close to that of a pear. He has a fluffy yellow skin and a firm and very fragrant flesh.
Differences with nearby foods
The quince is close to the pear in its shape and structure. However, it has a firmer flesh than pear and can only be eaten cooked, unlike its cousin, which is eaten both cooked and raw.
Word from the nutritionist
Quince is an interesting fruit due to its high content of water and antioxidants and very low calorie content. Include it in your jam or jelly menu to get out of the routine.
For 100g of quince:
|Vitamin C||15 mg|
|Vitamin B9||3 µg|
4 benefits of quince: why eat it?
- Although quince is a source of antioxidant vitamin C, as it is eaten cooked, the majority of vitamin C is destroyed by heat. Quince also contains phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties. In addition, some studies have shown a potential positive effect on the prevention of colon and kidney cancer.
- Quince is a fruit rich in pectin, a type of fiber that has the property of forming a gel by trapping water. Pectin would have many health benefits including lowering blood cholesterol levels as well as blood sugar. Pectin also has the ability to delay gastric emptying and thus promote satiety. It has also been studied in connection with certain types of cancer, notably colon cancer. Finally, it would also have the capacity to form a physical barrier protecting the intestinal cells against a microbial infection.
- Quince is a source of copper. As a constituent of several enzymes, copper is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and collagen (protein used for the structure and repair of tissues) in the body. Several copper-containing enzymes also help the body’s defense against free radicals.
- Quince is a source of potassium. In the body, potassium is used to balance the pH of the blood and to stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid by the stomach, thus promoting digestion. In addition, it facilitates the contraction of muscles, including the heart, and participates in the transmission of nerve impulses.
How to choose your quince
When buying, look for a fleshy and firm fruit with a partially yellow skin.
The different varieties
There are several varieties which differ in their shape: either a pear shape or an apple shape. The varieties that are most often found on our stalls are: the Champion, the quince from Portugal and the giant from Vranja.
If it is not fully ripe, it is allowed to ripen at room temperature. Then it can be refrigerated and stored for a few weeks in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen as a puree. If it is raw, peel it, trim it, slice it and sprinkle it with lemon juice before putting it in the freezer.
How to cook it? How to match it?
Quince contains tannins which disappear when cooked, but which can give it a harsh taste. Like pear, the flesh oxidizes quickly (turns brown) when cut. A little tip: sprinkle with lemon juice or cook the quince immediately to avoid its oxidation.
It is baked in the oven like an apple, that is to say trimmed and if necessary peeled. We make jam, compote, jelly, syrup or wine. Its allies are apples, pears, strawberries and raspberries. In Europe, we appreciate quince or cotignac paste. In Eastern Europe, the Near East and North Africa, quince is used more in stews such as tagines.
History of quince
The Greeks believed that the quince kept away bad influences and was a symbol of love and fertility. The Romans meanwhile used its essential oil to concoct perfumes. Quince seeds were also used as a base for hair spray. Quince was mainly used to make jam and jellies. The word “marmalade” even comes from the Greek term “marmelada” which means quince jam. This is due to its high content of pectin, a thickening fibrous substance.