Quince (Cydonia oblonga1) is a fruit that grows on small trees, and is closely related to apples and pears. However, it’s not particularly well-known in the culinary world. The fruit hails from Persia and Anatolia, and is also believed to have originated in Cydon, Greece, which is where the fruit’s scientific name is derived from. In Ancient Greek mythology, the quince is a sacred fruit to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility.2
Eaten raw, the fruit isn’t very appetizing because it is tart, dry and has slightly astringent properties.3
Not to mention, the fruit isn’t the most appealing to look at. A fully ripe quince has an irregular shape with an extremely tough and spongy flesh.4
Those who are unfamiliar with it may be tempted to look for other alternatives. However, give quince a chance and you just may come to enjoy it just like any of your favorite fruits.
The Various Potential Health Benefits of Quince
If you haven’t tried a quince before, you may be surprised to know that it’s filled with various nutrients. It’s particularly known for its vitamin C, zinc, potassium, copper, iron and fiber content, all of which can bring various benefits to your health in the following aspects:5
• Weight Management
Quince is rich in fiber, a dietary substance that helps keep weight down and prevent overeating by keeping your stomach feel full longer. A single, small fruit provides 7 percent of the daily recommended value for fiber.
• Digestive Health
Thanks to quince’s fiber content, your digestive health may be able to flourish as well. Fiber is an important component in helping prevent common stomach problems such as inflammatory bowel disease or diverticulitis. Fiber also helps normalize bowel movements, thereby helping lower your chances of developing constipation.6
• Blood Pressure Maintenance
Potassium is a well-known vasodilator, which means that it can help your arteries relax to help maintain blood pressure in the healthy range and reduce overall strain in your cardiovascular system. Fortunately, quince contains a generous amount of potassium, which can benefit your health in the long run.
• Immune System Boost
Quince is known for its vitamin C content, which is an effective tool in boosting your immune system. Vitamin C works by helping increase the supply of white blood cells, providing you with a bigger army of defenders against disease-causing microbes.
How Quince Is Commonly Used in Cooking
Quince has a naturally sour and tannic flavor. What’s interesting about this fruit is that it’s inedible in its raw state, but there is a substantial payoff when you cook it properly. For example, poached quinces are tender and aromatic, which makes for a very enticing afternoon snack.7
You can cook quince in several ways, depending on how creative you can get. You can change the flavor of poached quinces simply by changing the ingredient. For example, you can add ginger in the water to give the fruit a spicy kick. It can also go well with pork and other savory dishes, especially when mixed together with turnips and a sprig of rosemary.8
Whichever way you decide use quince, you will have to prepare it carefully to maximize its flavor. To do this, simply follow this procedure:9
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin. If you’re going to make quince jelly or a different paste, keep the skin intact and proceed to the next step.
- Stand the quince upright and cut down alongside one side of the core to separate the flesh.
- Continue cutting until you have several slices. Be sure to use them right away to prevent discoloration.
Cooking With Quince: Poached Quince Recipe
There are many recipes that you can attempt when it comes to cooking quince. However, one recipe I don’t recommend you try is quince paste,10 as it uses a lot of sugar and is very unhealthy for you. Instead, try this simple poached quince recipe, which makes for a great snack that can be mixed with other foods:11
- In a large saucepan, add the sliced quinces, then pour enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let them simmer.
- Add the honey, cinnamon and cloves and simmer until the fruits are cooked. You can add the star anise if you prefer to as well.
- Transfer the fruits to a serving plate. It can be enjoyed warm or cold.
Note: This recipe makes 4 cups. It can be eaten on its own or added to yogurt, porridges, homemade ice cream and unpasteurized nuts.
Nutrition Facts Regarding Quince
Quince is a beneficial source of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system. A single fruit alone provides 13.8 milligrams of this nutrient. Furthermore, it contains other vitamins and minerals that may help optimize your health. The table below provides a good overview of quince:12
Quince Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 100 grams
|Calories from Fat
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
You Can Enjoy Quince, as Long as It’s Cooked Properly
Trying out quince can be a daunting endeavor, especially if it’s your first time. But if you’re looking to expand your palate and add more fruits into your diet, you won’t regret your choice. Quinces are a fine addition to your home — just remember to prepare it thoroughly first.