Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quince: Yummy Fruits A-Z

(Quince trees grow 16 to 26 feet.
Fruit is 3 to 5 inches long)
The quince tree is native to Turkey and Iran, but it has been known to grow as far north as Scotland. It does well on rocky slopes and in the woodlands. 

Cultivation of quince began ages ago. The fruit mentioned in the "Song of Songs" of the Bible's old testament may have been quince. Ancient Greeks were known to use quince as well, for ritual offerings at weddings. In ancient Rome, a Roman cookbook had recipes for stewing quince with honey, and also with leeks.

Quince has been grown elsewhere around the world, but the bulk is grown today in Turkey, China, Uzbekistan, Morocco, Iran and Argentina. The fruit is hard and sour when raw, so roasting, baking, or stewing it is necessary. But once cooked, quince makes excellent jams, jellies, sauces and puddings. It also makes a good dessert wine and liqueur. 

The nutritional claims for quince are its high fiber content (helpful in losing weight); anti-oxidant and anti-viral properties; reduced cancer risk; and protection against gastric ulcers, high cholesterol, poor digestion, heart disease, and high blood pressure. 

Quince Recipe

"Basic Quince Jelly"

6 pounds quinces
granulated white sugar (see below)

--Quarter quinces and remove cores. Place in large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 45 minutes, until fruit is tender. 
--Strain liquid (with jelly bag or cheese cloth) into large bowl. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Measure liquid and add 3/4 cup sugar for each cup of liquid. 
--Bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes. (If using a candy thermometer, it should read 220 degrees F). Remove from heat. Skim surface thoroughly. 
--Ladle into hot, sterilized 6-ounce jelly jars and seal (use preferred canning method for this step). Yield: 8-10 (6 oz) jars. 
[Now wrap with ribbons and give away as gifts!]

Quince Books

--Simply Quince 
by Barbara Ghazarian (2009) (nonfiction)

--Lawyer Quince: Odd Craft (Part 5) 
by W.W. Jacobs (2014)

--Quince Duncan: Writing Afro-Costa Rican and Caribbean Identity              
by Dr. Dorothy E. Mosby (2014)

Quince Movie

--The Quince Tree Sun (1992)
(An artist tries to paint a quince tree, a strange 
need that resurfaces year after year).


Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing


  1. I'm wondering about the taste of this fruit... does it taste more or less like a lemon?

    1. Hi Michelle. I wish I knew! This is a very curious fruit. I don't think I have seen it in the stores.

  2. It reminds me a little of an osage orange, same color but without the bumpy surface texture. The oranges are very hard and bitter, too, although I've never tasted one. They have an overpowering, citrusy scent, and apparently, they are good for warding off spiders!

    1. Ooh...spiders. That would be worth pursuing if quince had the same effect. Did not see this though in my research. Thanks, Dawn.

  3. Hi Sharon - we grow quinces here .. well I don't - but my brother has a tree .. but they're not really into making their own jams and jellies .. thanks for the recipe though, and also the books look interesting ...

    Cheers and Happy Easter - Hilary

    1. Now maybe you can try. Let me know the results! I'm getting quite a collection of books. Who would have guessed fruits would be in so many titles!

  4. I used to have a quince tree in my garden but it grew old and diseased and we had to get rid of it. Such a shame.

    1. Oh, too bad. So few have experience with this fruit. Would have been fun to hear how they tasted.

  5. One that must be cooked, eh. Good to know.

    1. Yeah...duly noted, but the recipes have me interested. Somewhere people enjoy this fruit!

  6. I have never heard of this fruit before. What would the taste be compared to??

    1. Information was a bit sketchy on the 'cooked' taste, but since there are recipes, it must be worth trying. Wish I could try one!

  7. I think I had quince jam with a manchego cheese

    1. Hmm...I think I would buy this jam if I could find. Thanks, Andrea.

  8. Love your A to Z theme! Some of your fruits were new to me - I'd love to try a thimbleberry someday.
    Quince is one of my favourites, and definitely my favourite jam. Maybe I should try making it myself...


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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.