It is not the prettiest fruit in the world – it has rough, bright yellow skin and very hard flesh.
Quince is a close relative of pears and apples, but in opposition to them, it cannot be eaten raw, immature fruit is bitter. Fruit should be picked in October before first frost, then they can be kept in appropriate conditions for next few weeks.
In traditional medicine, seeds of quince are commonly used as a laxative, for throat and vocal cord inflammation (external use) and for skin ulcerations (internal use). Quince fruit is full of vitamins, especially C, pro-vitamin A and all those from B group. Moreover, it contains plenty of minerals. Eating quince improves your immune system, digestion, liver regeneration, it also lowers blood pressure and damages free radicals, so that it can be beneficial in preventing cancers.
Quince has been known since ancient times – in Greece it was considered as an aphrodisiac; its curative properties were even cherished by Hipocretes. Nowadays, quince is cultivated all around the world.
Quince must be patiently prepared by long thermal procedure to reveal its extraordinary taste and scent. The fruit contains much pectin (natural gelling agent), so it makes it ideal for preservatives – jams and marmalades. In Poland, we mainly use it to prepare liqueur or juice for tea instead of lemon slice. It tastes excellent in combination with apples, oranges and cinnamon. In Turkey roasted quince is served warm with ice-cream, whipped cream or mascarpone. In Spain and Portugal it is very popular as thick jelly – dulce de membrillo. Other cuisines, due to intensive aroma and refreshing taste, combine quince with various kinds of meat. We propose paste made from quince, cranberries, wine and honey as an surprising accompaniment to cheese selection.
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