Eight Things You Should Know about Quinces

Eight Things You Should Know about Quinces

© Shutterstock

Eight Things You Should Know about Quinces

Eight Things You Should Know about Quinces

© Shutterstock

1. Be wary of eating them raw

As enchanting as the quince tastes once it is cooked, unfortunately, it is as hard as a rock when raw and thus somewhat inedible. Anyone who bites into an uncooked quince risks a visit to the dentist.

2. Star of antiquity

The quince may be one of the rarer fruits today, but in antiquity it was much more common. The golden apple that Paris gave to Aphrodite, according to Greek mythology, is said to have been a quince and many a Bible scholar thinks that the forbidden fruit in paradise (whose name is not mentioned) may have originally been a quince.

3. Perfect for jam

Quinces contain an unusually large amount of pectin, the substance that makes jams set. They are therefore perfect for making jams and jelly. The word marmalade is derived from the Portuguese word for quince, marmelo.

4. From yellow to pink

Even though the fruits themselves are pale yellow to green when ripe, once cooked quince jelly and quince jam develop a beautiful, seductive pinkish red colour. The delicate scent of rose petals and vanilla will fill the air, but be sure to core and peel the quince before cooking.

5. Not just for pudding

Quinces are not only suitable for desserts. In Morocco, they are often cooked with meat, especially in lamb tagines. In Spain quince bread is offered alongside cheese boards and is delicious with their salty Manchego, it also pairs well with chorizo

6. Comparable with apples & pears

Quinces can be compared to apples and pears, because they are related to both. The quince is the sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae (which also includes apples and pears). Quince trees are sometimes used by landscape gardeners as they have attractive pale pink blossom in the spring.

7. Apple from the Middle East

The quince probably originated in what is now Turkey, but was certainly cultivated in ancient Babylon, which might be why it is so prevalent in ancient mythology. It is thought that the first quince trees came to Britain with the Romans, although the first recorded cutivation was in 1275, when King Edward I planted quince trees at the Tower of London.

8. Small but mighty

The quince is one of the most popular tree species among bonsai enthusiasts. Chinese and Japanese varieties are particularly sought after.