Quince is a very healthy fruit thanks to its nutritional values. Discover this delicious fruit and all its benefits.
What kind of fruit is the quince?
The quince is the fruit of the quince tree. It is a very unique and quite small tree of the Rosaceae family. In the same way, it is deciduous and with beautiful white and pink flowers.
Regarding appearance, it is orange-yellow in color with usually yellow pulp and it is closely related to the pear and apple.
Origin of the Quince
It is originally from Asia, more specifically from the Caucasus region. It was already cultivated in ancient Babylon in 4000 BC Also, there are written data from Greek and Roman culture that speak of its cultivation.
The Greeks met him in the city of Cyon, on the Island of Crete. As a result, it is the origin of the scientific name Cydonia oblonga Mill. Likewise, they dedicated this fruit to Venus. What’s more, they offered it as a symbol of happiness, love and fertility.
Quince uses by different cultures
Formerly the quince was closely related to the apple, as it was believed to be one of its varieties.
It was the Romans who were in charge of spreading the cultivation of the quince throughout Europe, including Spain. In addition, the Romans consumed it in different recipes. What’s more, a very common recipe they made was the cooked quince sweetened with honey. They also used it to make liqueurs.
Likewise, as a curiosity, in Roman culture there was the custom of offering the newlyweds quince before entering their new home to wish them luck.
In the Middle Ages this fruit began to be used as a remedy against diarrhea.
More recently, the Arab culture used the quince not only for its flavor. Also for its benefits, since they used it as an intestinal regulator.
Spain was the country that exported the quince crop to the American continent. Currently it is cultivated in quantity in many regions of South America.
Currently. It grows naturally in Asian countries such as Armenia, Turkestan and Syria.
Quince cultivation is widespread throughout Europe. The areas where quinces are currently most consumed are China and the countries that made up the now-defunct Soviet Union. In addition, these countries are the largest producers that currently exist.
Unlike other crops, that of the quince does not find a growing expansion. In Spain we can find them in areas of Andalusia, the Valencian Community, Murcia and Extremadura.
Countries with the highest production of quince
As we have already noted, the most intense production of quince is found in parts of China, the Middle East and in the countries that formed the former Soviet Union.
According to the FAO, the countries that currently have the highest production are only the following:
Turkey with 100,000 tons per year, China with 90,000, Morocco with 30,000, Argentina and Iran with 25,000. Likewise, countries such as Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, countries that made up the former Yugoslavia, stand out.
Countries such as Mexico, Romania, Syria, Greece, Peru, Russia, Tunisia, Brazil, Bulgaria and Spain also stand out. And to a lesser extent countries such as Bolivia, France, Hungary, Algeria and Argentina.
Harvesting is done manually. When the fruit is ready to mature and ready to be harvested, it gives off a very characteristic and intense smell.
The collection is delicate when done by hand. Therefore, it must be done carefully so as not to damage the fruits.
The harvest date is usually in October. However, there are varieties that can be brought forward to September and delayed until December. Therefore, quinces cannot be lacking in our kitchen in autumn.
You can check the calendar of the fruit season to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season they provide us more benefits for our health, they have a better aroma and are tastier, among other advantages.
Depending on the area, the climate, age and cultivation system are factors that have led to the creation of various varieties of this fruit, among which we can highlight the following:
Most common variety that we usually find in our markets with more assiduity. It is medium in size, the skin is yellow with a very aromatic pulp. What’s more, It is the variety that we normally have in the kitchen.
We usually use it as an ingredient to make homemade quince paste. As a result we obtain a delicious sweet, full of flavor and beneficial for our health. It is ideal to take it with fresh cheese or walnuts.
It is spherical in shape. The external part is yellow.
It is larger than the common. The skin is yellow with greenish tones with an aromatic pulp. This variety can mature a little earlier than the others.
The size is somewhat larger than common. The yellow exterior and the pulp as well.
Vau de Mau
The skin is yellow and with a very aromatic pulp.
Vrauja or breija
It is the largest variety. The skin is yellowish and very aromatic.
How to buy quinces?
We can find it in season as fresh and raw fruit in our markets. It is ideal that we can buy it in season to make different healthy recipes. They are fruits that provide us with many ideal nutritional benefits to maintain good health.
When choosing them it is important to pay special attention to their appearance. Most varieties have to have yellow skin without green undertones.
A yellow skin means that it has its exact point of maturity. In addition, it must not present bruises or bumps that can be suffered during harvesting.
If they are not very mature, there may be some spots on the skin. PTherefore, if we buy them, we must consume them as soon as possible.
If we are going to consume them soon, we can store them in our kitchen in a dry area without direct light. However, it can be kept up to three weeks. The trick is to wrap them in a sheet of newspaper and individually. Once wrapped, store them in the fridge.
We can also freeze these fruits. For them it is necessary to peel and chop them. In addition, it is advisable to mix them with a lemon juice that acts as an antioxidant.
How do you eat the Quince fruit?
The quince is a fruit that has nutritional properties that are very beneficial for our health. However, eating it raw and fresh is not very common. The reason is because the pulp is very hard and its taste is somewhat harsh.
The most common way to eat this food is as an ingredient in different recipes. The most common is the homemade quince jelly recipe.
Likewise, it is used as an ingredient in recipes such as jams, compotes, jellies, quince paste or for the preparation of different sweets and desserts.
Quince sweet, also known as homemade quince meat is one of the most popular recipes. It is also the most popular way to eat these fruits. The quinces have to be cooked with sugar in equal parts.
It is very common in Spanish gastronomy to consume homemade quince paste with fresh cheese or walnuts.
Quinces are low in sugar. Therefore, they are fruits with low caloric intake. However, the problem is that this fruit is usually consumed in a recipe for homemade quince paste. Also, in this recipe sugar is added, so the caloric value increases considerably.
These fruits provide us with vitamins and minerals. The most notable are potassium and vitamin C, although not in a very significant way.
Instead, the true benefits that this food brings us is the amount of fiber. It is rich in pectin and mucilage. It also gives us malic acid with disinfectant properties and which is favorable for the elimination of uric acid.
Average nutritional value per 100 grams of quince
|Vitamin A||30 IU|
|Vit. B1||0.03 mg|
|Vit. B2||0.02 mg|
|Nicotinic acid||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin C||15 mg|
|Malic acid||680 mg|
It is a food that is not usually eaten raw. Sugar is usually added to make quince paste. By adding sugar to this recipe, it is not recommended for diabetics.
However, This sweet changing with cheese or nuts is ideal for snacks or a delicious snack. Likewise, it is an ideal combination for an extra supply of energy for athletes or for those who need to replenish energy. Similarly, it is ideal for those who need to gain weight.
Natural intestinal regulator
The quince provides us with a large amount of dietary fiber. It is a food that helps us regulate our intestinal transit.
Quinces provide us with antioxidants that help us to maintain a radiant and luminous skin. In addition, they neutralize the free radicals that cause many diseases.
Regulates blood pressure
Thanks to the contribution of potassium and its low sodium content, helps us regulate blood pressure. Potassium is a mineral that is essential for regulating blood pressure.
It is a food recommended for people who suffer from hypertension not related to being overweight.
Strengthens our natural defenses
It is rich in natural antioxidants. In addition, with the contribution of vitamins such as C and E, helps stimulate our natural defenses.
Reduce the cholesterol
For its contribution of dietary fiber, It is an aid to reduce bad cholesterol in the blood. Therefore, it is positive for people with high cholesterol.
Help in cases of diarrhea
Quinces give us tannins. They are substances that dry and deflate the intestinal mucosa. Therefore, the consumption of well-ripened quince or in the form of sweet It is effective in treating diarrhea.
In addition, quinces are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber with various organic functions. Among these functions is the retention of water. Likewise, it retains the intestinal transit in case of diarrhea.
We find an essential food. It should not be missing in our kitchen, especially when it is in season. Therefore, the quince is ideal as an ingredient in different sweets that provides us with essential nutrients for our health.