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I never heard of this fruit Quince until a friend stopped over visiting giving us a bag this fruit from his parent’s village. I thought at first it resembled a very large pear, and indeed quince belongs to the same family as apples and pears, and regarded as their distant relative. Quince fruit is native to the warm-temperate areas of southwest Asia; Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and was introduced to Syria, Lebanon, Croatia, Bosnia, Turkey, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Shape like a over-sized pear and has a golden-yellowish outer-layer, when mature. Though it is also grown in the United States, the Asian variety is softer and much juicier. Apart from being eaten raw, quinces are commonly made into preserves and jellies, dessert, and side dish.

Among the ancient Greeks, the quince – κυδώνιον μῆλον, kydonion melon “Kydonian apple” was a ritual offering at weddings, for it had come from the Levant with Aphrodite and remained sacred to her. Plutarch reported that a Greek bride would nibble a quince to perfume her kiss before entering the bridal chamber, “in order that the first greeting may not be disagreeable nor unpleasant” (Roman Questions 3.65). It was a quince that Paris awarded Aphrodite. It was for a golden quince that Atalanta paused in her race. The Romans also used quinces; the Roman cookbook of Apicius gives recipes for stewing quince with honey, and even combining them, unexpectedly, with leeks. Pliny the Elder mentioned the one variety, Mulvian quince, that could be eaten raw. Columella mentioned three, one of which, the “golden apple” that may have been the paradisal fruit in the Garden of the Hesperides, has donated its name in Italian to the tomato, pomodoro.

Nutrition & Health Benefits of Quince

Nutritional Value 

Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 100 gm of quince:

  • Carbohydrates – 15.3 gm
  • Sugars – 12.53 gm
  • Dietary fiber – 1.9 gm
  • Fat – 0.10 gm
  • Protein – 0.4 gm
  • Water – 83.8 gm
  • Vitamin A – 40 μg
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.04 mg
  • Folate (Vitamin B9) – 8 μg
  • Vitamin C – 15.0 mg
  • Calcium – 8 mg
  • Iron – 0.7 mg
  • Magnesium – 8 mg
  • Phosphorus – 17 mg
  • Potassium – 197 mg
  • Sodium – 4 mg
  • Energy – 60 kcal (240 kJ)

Health Benefits of Eating Quince

  • Being rich in dietary fiber, quince is good for those people who are trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy body.
  • Quince boasts of antioxidant properties, which helps the body fight against free radicals and reduces the risk of cancer.
  • Researches have revealed that quinces might be rich in various anti-viral properties.
  • Consumption of quince has been found to be beneficial for people suffering from gastric ulcer.
  • Quince juice is known to have tonic, antiseptic, analeptic, astringent and diuretic properties.
  • It is believed that eating quince is good for maintaining the optimum health of an individual.
  • Regular consumption of quince not only aids in digestion, but also helps lower cholesterol.
  • The presence of potassium in quince helps the body keep high blood pressure in check.
  • The vitamin C present in quince helps reduce the risk of heart disease in individuals.
  • If consumed on a regular basis, quince proves beneficial for those afflicted with tuberculosis, hepatic insufficiency, diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Those suffering from liver diseases and eye diseases would surely benefit from regular quince consumption.
  • Being rich in antioxidants, quince is believed to be helpful in relieving stress and attaining calm.
  • Quince is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, while having lots of vitamin C, dietary fiber and copper.
  • Quince juice is good for those suffering from anemia, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illnesses, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and even asthma.
  • The juice as well as pulp of boiled or baked quince fruit serves as a good anti-emetic remedy.

Nutrition & Benefits ~ http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benefits-of-quince-2092.html

Kydonia Sto Fourno: Sweet Baked Quince Recipe

Ingredients

1. Whole quince (about 3 ½ pounds)
2. water (3c)
3. whole cloves
4. cinnamon (1stick)
5. sugar (2c) or use dark brown sugar with molasses (fair trade/organic)

Method Of Preparation:

1. First heat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Take quince, wash it and then remove and discard its stem. Take out the seeds and tough fibers and then keep it aside.

2. Take a bowl of water, place quince halves in it to prevent it from darkening. Take a pot, mix quince seeds, sugar, water and tough fiber in it. Boil this mixture for 8 to 10 minutes and then strain it into a bowl.

3. Press 2 cloves in each half quince. Pour the strained liquid over the quince and cinnamon stick in it. Now bake it for 1 ½ to 2 hours at 350 degrees until the quince gets soft. Now the quince gets ready. Serve it warm or at room temperature with  whipped cream or ice cream, add walnuts on top as garnish.

Spiced Quince Preserve

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium to large Quinces, peeled, cored and cut into about 8 pieces each
  • 4 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • Sugar
  • red or white wine vinegar
  • Coriander seeds

Preparation:

1. Put the quinces in a large saucepan with the salt and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then boil for 10 minutes.

2. Strain the quinces and measure the juice. Pour the juice back into the pan.

3. For each 600ml of juice, add 450g sugar, 300ml vinegar and 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds.

4. Bring to the boil, add the quinces and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the slices are tender. Leave to cool in the pan.

5. The next day, drain the syrup into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then pour it back over the quinces.

6. Spoon into clean preserving jars, and seal while still warm.

Duck with quince recipe

Ingredients

Duck rub ~ 

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 6 juniper berries/currants
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 level tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp dried or fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ tsp dried or fresh thyme leaves
  • the zest of 1 lemon

Quince Puree ~ 

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 quince, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted organic butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Pinch allspice

In a small, heavy, non-reactive stockpot, add the lemon juice and 6 cups of water. Peel, core and quarter the quince, then place in the lemon water to prevent discoloration. Bring the quince, lemon water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a boil over high heat, and gently boil until very tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon to the bowl of a food processor, and in batches, process with 3 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid, butter, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and allspice until very smooth.

Now add ~

Whole duck or 8 duck legs ~

pistachios and roasted lemons to serve, if desired

• Blend all the rub ingredients together in a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar, with a teaspoon of salt. Score the skin of the duck with a sharp blade, then massage the dry rub into the duck. Leave for about two hours.

• Brush the rub from the duck using your hands. Put the duck in a heavy-based casserole or pan and cook over a gentle heat. The fat in the skin will melt – then you can turn up the heat a little and slow-roast them, turning them occasionally, until crisp and cooked through – this should take about 40 minutes or more. Remove from the casserole, then pour away and discard the fat. Set the roasted duck aside in a warm place.

 Scatter over some pistachios and roasted lemon slices. Serve with potatoes fried in olive oil and smoked paprika.

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