The quince was known since ancient times. The quinces symbolized love and happiness, so they were offered at wedding ceremonies. Possibly they are the “golden apples” of Homer. The first to recognize their value and cultivate them were the ancient Cretans. The scientific name “cydonia” also came from the area of the first crops, i.e. from the ancient city of Kydonia (today’s Chania). The Greeks believed that quince drove away bad influences and it was symbol of love and fertility. The Romans used its essential oil to make perfumes.
The quince is the fruit of Cydonia oblonga or the elongated quince. It belongs to the family Rosaceae – to the subfamily Maloideae, where the apple and the pear also belong – and to the genus Cydonia. It comes from Iran. THE quince season is autumn, when the thin green skin of the fruit turns yellow and the flesh becomes very aromatic, dry and firm. Quince is not eaten raw.
The benefits of quince
• Rich in pectin
Pectin, a type of fiber that has the property of forming a gel by trapping water. Pectin has many health benefits, especially in contribution to lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It also has the ability to delay gastric emptying and thus promote satiety. The potential prevention of certain types of cancer, particularly colon cancer, is being investigated. Finally, it has the ability to form a natural barrier that protects the intestinal cells from microbial contamination.
• Rich in antioxidants
Scientific studies have shown that various parts of the fruit contain antioxidant components, which bind oxygen free radicals and can help protect the body from various diseases.
They are considered fruits with tonic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that the extract of the bark and flesh of quinces contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties. The main phenolic compounds of quinces are caffeoylquinic acid, procyanidin-B2, oligomeric procyanidins, polymeric procyanidins, etc.
• Source of potassium
Potassium serves to balance the pH of the blood and stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thus promoting digestion. In addition, it facilitates the contraction of muscles, including the heart, and participates in the transmission of nerve impulses.
• Source of copper
As a component of many enzymes, copper is essential for the formation of hemoglobin and collagen in the body. Several copper-containing enzymes also contribute to the body’s defense against free radicals.
• Source of vitamin C
Quince is a source of the antioxidant vitamin C, but as it is eaten cooked, most of the vitamin is destroyed by heat.
Average Nutritional Analysis of 100g of raw quinces
Energy 57 kcal (238 kJ)
Proteins 0.4 g
Carbohydrates 15.3 g
Dietary fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 12.53 g
Total fat 0.10 g
Water 83.8 g
Vitamins Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.2 mg
Vitamin B6 0.04 mg
Folic acid (Vit B9) 8μg
Vitamin C 15.0 mg
Vitamin K 4.5μg
Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 119 mg
Calcium 8 mg
Magnesium 8 mg
Phosphorus 17 mg
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Buy and Save
When buying, look for a fleshy, firm fruit with pale yellow skin. If not fully ripe, let it ripen at room temperature. Then you can put it in the fridge and keep it for a few weeks.
In Greek cuisine, quinces are found in both sweet and savory dishes. Spoon sweets, jellies, quince paste, quince wine, liqueur, compote and jams are made from the fruit. Yes, the term “marmalade” originally meant quince jam and came from the Portuguese word marmelo, meaning “quince”. In cooking, we will find it in several dishes. It is sliced like a potato, seeded but not peeled and cooked with beef, lamb, chicken and even fish.
Caution! Quince seeds are poisonous and should not be eaten. Raw fruit can cause throat irritation and difficulty breathing (Medical Disclaimer).
Follow the metrosport.gr page and google news.
Like our Facebook page