quinceDense and fleshy with a slightly sweet, slightly earthy flavor, Quince has a mild and unassuming flavor.

quince fruitIt looks like a cross between an apple and a pear, vibrant green skin with a pale inner flesh. Quince are native to the Middle East but have been cultivated in appropriate environments around the world. Many historians believe that the quince was domesticated and cultivated long before the apple and is the fruit given to Aphrodite as a token of love making it sacred to relationships, marriage, and honeymoons. It is also theorized that in the bible the apple mentioned is actually a quince.

From a culinary perspective, even though the quince resembles a pear or an apple, it doesn’t really taste like one and depending on the variety can sometimes be too astringent to eat raw. The flesh is dense and hard so lends well to cooking. It can be baked, boiled, made into jam or jelly. They make a great pie ingredient and are also high in pectin giving them a natural thickening quality. quince jamMarmalade was originally made from quince, being derived from the name marmelo, which is the Portuguese word for quince. In France and Italy, quince is also made into beverages, digestives, wines, and liqueurs.

From a health perspective, quince are a great source of nutrient density. They are high in Vitamin C, A, and B complex. They are also rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The high pectin combined with the astringency makes them amazing for gastrointestinal repair. They do help with digestive issues and also help heal the tissue within the intestinal tract. They are also great for decreasing systemic inflammation. The chemical compounds found in the quince are antiviral and anti-fungal. Studies suggest they are beneficial in the treatment of cystitis and also in treatment of inflammatory conditions and viral flare ups.