The scientific name of quince is Cydonia oblonga. It is a fruit tree of the Rosaceae family, whose cultivation has rapidly spread from Asia to central and southern parts of Europe, North Africa, Oceania and America. It can grows up 5 to 8 metres (16 to 26 ft) high and 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20 ft) wide.
How to check for ripeness of Quince
The appearance of fruit is like that of a pear, and skin turns bright golden-yellow when mature. The longer one waits for the fruit to ripen on the tree, the tastier it will be.
While purchasing from the market, select the most yellow-looking quince that are free of bruises. Secondly, choose the most aromatic fruit. Like pears, it’s unlikely to find perfectly smooth, blemish-free quince. A few marks are not problematic, but avoid fruits with obvious signs of rotting.
The taste of Quinces is astringent, tart, tannic and generally unpalatable. It’s taste comes alive when cooked. When heated for a long amount of time, its flesh turns a beautiful rosy color and becomes soft, tender, tangy yet mildly sweet from the concentrated sugars. Heat helps to removes the bitter astringency of the fruit, making it significantly more palatable.
Quince nutritional value
A 100g of quince has about 57 calories. It contain
0 g Fat
15 mg Carb (5% RDI)
2 g Fiber (8% RDI)
.4 g Protein (1% RDI)
40 IU Vitamin A (1% RDI)
15 mg Vitamin C (25% RDI)
Thiamin (1% RDI)
Riboflavin (2% RDI)
.2 mg Niacin (1% RDI)
Vitamin B6 (2% RDI)
.7 mg Iron (4% RDI)
8 mg Magnesium (2% RDI)
17 mg Phosphorous (2% RDI)
197 mg Potassium (6% RDI)
.1 mg Copper (6% RDI)
Traditional medicinal properties and uses of Quince
It is is antivinous, astringent, a digestive, diuretic, cardiac, carminative, stimulant, tonic, peptic, coolant, and expectorant. It is used to treat sore throats, hemorrhages, intestinal problems, diarrhea, and a host of other stomach problems.
When gargled, the fruit treats mouth ulcers, bad breath and sore throats. It has high pectin content that protects the body from harmful radiation effects, also contributing to the body’s circulatory system maintenance and blood pressure stabilization. Chinese herbal medicine also incorporates the bark as an astringent. In Iran and Afghanistan, boiled seeds treat pneumonia as it has mucilaginous properties. The seed’s mucilage also remedies burns and external wounds.
Quince leaves have been also historically used, after decoction or infusion, in traditional medicine for their sedative, antipyretic, anti-diarrheic and antitussive properties and for the treatment of various skin diseases
Scientific proven health benefits of Quince
According to a study, the quince juice has shown to be useful in inflammatory bowel disease and effective to alleviate colon inflammation and ulcers. It has anti-ulcer properties that helps to diminish inflammation and ulcer associated with Ulcerative colitis.
Quince fruit contains phenolic constituents including chlorogenic acid which is the main phenolic component of the fruit and has antioxidant potential.
Another study has shown that quince fruit has strong anti-inflammatory effects which can inhibit edema, inflammation, neutrophil migration and TNF-α expression.
A study confirmed that quince leaves are rich in antioxidants and rich in phenolic compounds that have application as preventive or therapeutic agents in diseases in which free radicals are involved.
In a study, the pulp and peel of quince tree has shown antimicrobial activity.
Another study has shown that the quince may be useful as a cancer chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agent. The antiproliferative properties of quince (Cydonia oblonga Miller) leaf and fruit (pulp, peel, and seed) has shown effective against human kidney and colon cancer cells.
A study indicate that quince helps to enhance libido or sexual behavior and has potential of aphrodisiac activity.
According to several studies, quince has anti-allergy properties, can potentially restore the disturbed immune state of rhinitis patients, which essentially could be sufficient to make allergic symptoms disappear permanently.
Store quince by wrapping in a paper towel and keep in the refrigerator, which can last up to two months. It’s aroma can permeate to other fruits and impact their flavor—something to keep in mind when placing near fruits like apples and pears.
How to Open or Cut quince fruit?
Peel quince before using in recipes, to reduce bitterness of the fruit. Cutting a quince into slices and coring is almost as difficult as cutting pumpkin—it requires a large, sharp knife and a fair amount of leverage.
To cut the quince, keep the fingers as far away from the blade as possible. Use one hand for the handle of the knife, and use the palm of the other hand to place atop the blade and assist with the downward slicing motions.
Quince recipe ideas and uses
Make jam, jelly, quince pudding and marmalade. Originally, marmalade was made from this fruit, and not from oranges.
Quince can be peeled, then roasted, baked or stewed for various dishes.
Use quince as an apple or pear substitute in all baked goods recipes calling for these fruits.
Often used to impart fragrance into many dishes and beverages.
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