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Quince, raw (honey apple)

The quince (honey apple) has a fruity, sour aroma when raw. It is rich in healthy ingredients and is suitable for chutney, jam, etc.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 96.84%
Macronutrient proteins 2.53%
Macronutrient fats 0.63%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, <0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Not all quince varieties ( Cydonia oblonga ) are edible raw . The quinces that grow in Switzerland, Germany and Austria are hard and taste bitter because of the tannins they contain. Therefore, varieties from more southern countries (eg Turkey) are usually used for raw consumption.

Use in the kitchen:

Quinces from northern Central Europe are very suitable for processing. The amount of work involved in preparing this interesting fruit is great, but it is worth it.

The skin of the quince or honey apple (this often also refers to the persimmon!) is covered with a fine down that contains bitter substances. To prevent this from getting into the final product, it is necessary to rub off the down with a dry cloth and wash the fruit. If you use a brush (e.g. made of brass) to rub it off, you have to process the fruit immediately afterwards, as you will damage the outer skin. The flower base and the stem must also be removed. The quince does not necessarily have to be peeled for processing, otherwise some of the unmistakable aroma will be lost. 1,2

What does a quince taste like? The flesh of the quince is hard, woody and has a fruity, sour aroma. It is also interspersed with numerous, lined-up seeds. The seeds are the size of apple seeds. If you want to use them, make sure that they remain whole.

How can you eat quinces? The best way to eat quinces is to chop them into cubes and then put them in a pan. The quince juice becomes sweeter when heated. The fruit only gets its fine aroma when it is cooked, boiled or baked. In order to soften the fruit cubes - and so that they lose their bitter and tannin substances - a certain amount of cooking time is necessary. Depending on the recipe, this can take up to 45 minutes.

Cooked quince puree then serves as a basis for further processing in a variety of recipes. Due to its high pectin content, it is particularly suitable for making jams, jellies or compotes. Fruity, subtly sweet chutney goes excellently with savoury dishes. A little honey and lemon juice give the puree a wonderfully fresh taste and it can be used to make delicious desserts such as cakes, tarts and parfaits.

Juice from raw quince contains a lot of suspended matter and tastes more bitter than juice from cooked puree. It is worth boiling the fruit or using a steam juicer. 2

Raw quinces can also be dried. Cut a ripe, soft fruit into slices. At around 40 to 50 °C, quinces need around 8 to 24 hours to dry. These slices are suitable as a healthy raw food snack to eat raw or as an edible decoration on a cake.

Vegan recipe for a quince chutney:

A chutney is an Indian speciality, more precisely a spicy, hot-spicy or sweet-sour sauce. It will keep in a cool place, but only for a few days. The base is either coconut meat (South India), vegetable or fruit puree. Ingredients such as chili , mint or coriander leaves are often added and then flavored with tamarind . The puree can consist of tomatoes , mango , aubergines etc. and the flavor can be determined by onions , garlic , honey , ginger , vinegar and lemon juice . Cooking and filling into sterilized jars results in a product that has a long shelf life.

Ingredients (can be easily extrapolated for larger quantities): 500 g quinces, 150 g pears , 100 g shallots , 1 tbsp grated ginger, 1 red chilli pepper, 100 ml each of apple juice and apple cider vinegar , 1 star anise (ground with a coffee grinder), cinnamon and honey to taste and 1 teaspoon of salt . Preparation: Prepare the quinces as described in the text and cut into small pieces, also cut the pears into small pieces. Finely chop the peeled shallots and finely chop the chilli peppers.

Boil the whole mixture gently for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Then immediately fill it into hot, rinsed twist-off jars, close and leave on the lid for five minutes, then leave to steep overnight. You can find numerous other quince chutney or jam recipes online (e.g. at eat-smarter).

Recipe for quince tea (quince seed tea):

Pour boiling water over one to two teaspoons of quince seeds and let it steep for ten minutes.

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Shopping - where to buy?

When the season for other fruits ends, you can find quinces in large retailers and fruit dealers. In Germany, quinces are not cultivated on a large scale, which is why you can't usually buy the fresh fruit in the supermarket. You are most likely to buy them in small village shops where the owners work directly with the farmers. It is less common to buy quinces from the farmer or at a market - or via a subscription box (green box). In German-speaking countries, on the other hand, quince jelly is available from large retailers such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer etc., and sometimes quince brandy too. Organic products are available in organic supermarkets such as Denns and Alnatura , in health food stores, organic shops or drugstores.

Ripe quinces taste much more aromatic than the fruit that is often offered too early. Quinces harvested too early do not develop their aromas properly and do not get their typical taste. You can recognize a properly harvested fruit by its intense smell.

When is the quince ripe? The ripe quince is a bright lemon-yellow fruit. Depending on the shape of the fruit, a distinction is made between apple quinces ( Cydonia oblonga var. maliformis ) and pear quinces ( Cydonia oblonga var. oblonga ). When is the season? The quince grown in Europe has its season from October to November .

How big is the quince and how much does a quince weigh? The diameter of the fruit is 8-15 cm and the weight of a quince can be between 300 and 800 g. In southern countries, fruits weighing up to 2 kg grow. 4

To check ripeness, it is not possible to gently press the fruit, as it is very hard even when ripe. The advantages of this hardness and the fine hairs mean that quinces sold are usually of "organic" quality. The fruit is too hard for worms, insects and birds to eat. This means that protective measures are not necessary. When buying, the stalk should still be on the fruit, otherwise the quince will be damaged at the base of the stalk. If the quince is harvested too late, the flesh will develop brown spots. The starch breaks down and the fruit no longer tastes particularly good.

In delicatessens you can also buy quince brandy or quince liqueur. In organic shops or health food stores you can buy quince paste, which usually comes from Spain. 6

Found in the wild:

The quince tree grows in large wild populations in Armenia and Iran. The fruit of the wild form is only about 3-5 cm long. It is assumed that the quince bushes growing wild in the Balkans are descended from wild cultivated varieties. 7


You can also buy green quinces in bulk, as they are suitable for storage and ripen slowly. The best place to store the fruit is in a dark, airy, cool and dry place. A temperature between 0 and 2 °C is ideal. Under these conditions, it is possible to store the quinces for around 2 to 3 months. However, regular checks are necessary to ensure that the fruit does not unexpectedly rot. It is also important when storing that the fruits do not touch each other and that no bruises develop. Because the quinces give off their intense aromas, these are easily transferred to other fruits.

Ripe quinces can be stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for about 14 days before processing.

To extend the shelf life of quinces, you can freeze them when they are well dried. Individual frozen portions can be stored for a whole year. Blanched quinces can be frozen for about the same amount of time. Dried quince slices will keep for several weeks if kept airtight. Quinces can be preserved in the form of jam for a year or longer. Cooked quince juice can be stored for several months. Otherwise, the quince juice should be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within a few days.

Ingredients - nutritional value - calories:

Quinces have only 57 kcal per 100 g. What vitamins are in quinces? The vitamin C content is 15 mg/100g of fruit, similar to rocket and radishes . In comparison, strawberries with 58 mg/100g and lemons without peel with 53 mg/100g have significantly more vitamin C.

In terms of minerals, quinces contain a similar amount of potassium as peaches (197 mg/100g). The iron in quinces is almost as high as in raw beetroot ( 0.7 mg/100g). In comparison , kidney beans contain 8.2 mg/100g of iron. Magnesium is only present in small amounts (8 mg/100g), fresh bananas have 27 mg/100g and baby spinach has 79 mg/100g. We absorb enough copper anyway.

Quinces also contain tannins, tannic acids, pectin and mucilage. Quinces also contain the valuable coloring agent quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant. You can find detailed information in the ingredient tables after the text. 8

Health aspects - effects:

The pectin contained in the quince, in combination with the mucilage, accelerates wound healing. Therefore, quince mucilage can also be used in the form of compresses against burns, sunburn, skin inflammation and hemorrhoids. 9

In addition, pectin has an extremely high swelling power. This enables toxins and harmful substances to bind in the intestine. Quince compote helps with digestive problems and relieves inflammation of the stomach lining. The Greek doctor Hippocrates recommended quince for diarrhea and fever. 5

The antioxidants quercetin and pectin destroy the free radicals that cause long-term damage to the organism. Experts believe that regular consumption of local quinces is an effective preventive measure against this type of radical. The active ingredient is said to combat allergies, diabetes, hepatitis, respiratory and urinary tract infections. 9,11

Although quercetin is toxic in high doses, it is said to have cancer-preventing properties when combined with coumarin. This is especially true for colon cancer, as quercetin is said to be able to inhibit the formation of colon polyps. The substance can also probably lower cholesterol levels due to its high antioxidant effect. 12,10

The mucilage in the quince not only soothes an irritated throat, but also has general anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral effects.

Scientists from the University of Sargodha in Pakistan found that the whole fruit has positive effects. Quinces are often included in the diet to protect against diseases such as allergies, diabetes, hepatitis, respiratory and urinary tract infections, flu, gastrointestinal diseases, wounds, ulcers or even cancer. 3,13

Quinces could almost be called a local superfood, as scientists recommend eating them to prevent the diseases mentioned above.

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects:

Quince seeds contain the glycoside amygdalin. If the seeds are crushed or chewed, poisonous hydrogen cyanide is released. For this reason, the quince seeds must be whole and intact if they are to be used internally.

Folk medicine - natural medicine:

Traditional medicine uses the pulp, peel and leaves of the quince. The quince seeds (Sem. Cydoniorum) are the most important in folk medicine because of their mucilage. If you soak the seeds in warm water, you get a viscous solution that is effective against coughs, sore throats and bad breath.

Insomnia and restlessness can be counteracted with a tea made from quince seeds. Digestive problems can also be alleviated with a tea made from the seeds. A tea made from the quince peel is said to have a cleansing, detoxifying and antioxidant effect. 21

Externally, the mucus can be used as a basis for non-irritating, fat-free ointments. 11 ,1

When there is a shortage of coca, the inhabitants of the oases in the Atacama Desert (Chile) chew the leaves of the quince, which was imported from Europe. Coca is considered the "aspirin of the Andes". The Indians use it to treat all kinds of pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, colds and weakness. The natives also say that coca, if used correctly and respectfully, absorbs grief and pain. Perhaps this is where the assumption comes from that quinces can also help against depression. 14

Quince jelly is a remedy for diarrhea. It is the first solid food that one can eat after severe diarrhea. 10

This also answers the question: Are quinces healthy?

Occurrence - Origin:

The quince originally comes from the Caucasus. The first evidence of quinces being cultivated in the Caucasus dates back 4,000 years. It has been cultivated in Greece since 600 BC. In Central Europe, the quince has only been cultivated since the 9th century. It thrives without difficulty in subtropical winter and summer rainy areas. The fruit is considered undemanding in terms of climate, but it loves the sun. 15.7

In contrast to Germany, there are a few quince crops in Switzerland. They are mainly found in Valais, Vaud, Basel and Bern. 5 In 1989, the highly contagious fire blight disease raged in Switzerland. The numerous quince trees that were cut down were not replaced afterwards, because quinces are particularly susceptible to fire blight and there are no resistant varieties. 16

There is only one type of quince worldwide, but around 200 varieties are known. In Switzerland, only a few varieties are cultivated, such as Ronda, Vranja, Bereczki or Champion. 16 Commercial cultivation of quinces is only worthwhile in places where the infrastructure for processing the fruit exists. 7

Cultivation - Harvest:

The tree has an interesting growth pattern that resembles an olive tree. It can reach a height of 4-8 m. The quince also grows as a shrub. The leaves of the quince tree are egg-shaped to broadly elliptical and shiny green. The young leaves and young branches are slightly hairy (indument). 1 From May and June, the quince opens its beautiful flowers. These are up to 5 cm in size and form reddish-white stars with 5 petals. Since the quince is self-sterile, there is no need for a second plant nearby for pollination. If the fruit set is too strong, it is best to remove excess fruit in good time in order to achieve healthy and well-formed fruit. 7 A tree bears its first quinces at the earliest 4-8 years after it is planted. It produces its full fruit yield after about 10 years. 17

Depending on the variety, the fruit shape is different: apple or pear quince. Apple-shaped quinces are usually harder than pear-shaped ones, but more aromatic. The slightly smaller and milder pear quinces are quite sensitive to frost and thrive best in a wine-growing climate. Apple quinces, on the other hand, are considered more robust and also suitable for somewhat harsher locations. 2,4 As early as September, the earliest quinces shine through their lemon-yellow leaves. When can you harvest quinces? The peak harvest season is October to November, when the fruit turns from green to yellow. Since quinces have a sensitive skin despite their hardness, the fruit must be removed from the branch by hand with a twisting motion.

The quince tree can also be grown as a espalier. Although the plant has been cultivated for a long time, little has been done to the fruit in terms of breeding and its wild fruit character has largely been preserved. The soil quality and location are important for the quality of the quince. The quince tree needs good, deep soil and a warm climate. It cannot tolerate too much moisture. 6

Danger of confusion:

Visually, the fruit of the three-leaf orange/bitter orange ( Poncirus trifoliata ) looks very similar to the quince fruit ( Cydonia oblonga ). The bitter orange is a citrus fruit from the Himalayas (central China). It also has a characteristic furry down like the quince. The change in color of the peel from green to light to dark yellow when fully ripe also resembles the quince. The fruit is inedible, however. 18

The Japanese flowering quince ( Chaenomeles japonica ) is also called the Nordic lemon or "CIDO". It originally comes from Latvia. The flowering quince grows as a shrub with thorns. It was bred as a substitute for lemons. However, the fruits cannot be eaten raw. They can be cooked and juiced. The Japanese flowering quince looks similar to the quince fruit, but does not have a fluffy coating. 19

General information:

The quince tree ( Cydonia oblonga ) is a pome fruit tree in the rose family (Rosaceae). 20

The quince first appeared among the ancient Romans around 200 BC. They called the fruit "woolly apple" because of its fluffy skin. The Romans are said to have brought the quince to Central Europe, from where it spread as far north as the Mediterranean. Today, the quince is cultivated primarily in the Mediterranean region. However, the plant also has a permanent place in Central European countries and in many home gardens. 11

The name of the quince comes from Greek. In Kydonia, now Chania on the island of Crete, farmers probably grew the fruit for the first time in the West. In Greek mythology, Paris gives Aphrodite a Kydonian apple. The quince is considered a symbol of luck, love, fertility, wisdom, beauty, constancy and immortality. The German word Quitte developed from the "apple from Kydonia". The ancient Greeks cooked the quinces with honey. This resulted in the so-called "Melimelon" (translated as honey apple), which served as a source of strength for the sick and as provisions for travelers. Accordingly, the Portuguese later referred to the quince as "marmelo", which is still reflected in the word "jam". 11

The mucilage from the quince seeds is extracted mechanically. It is mainly used in medical and cosmetic products. Quince gum is almost as expensive as tragacanth (tragacanth), which is gum from tragacanth, a plant genus within the Fabaceae family. Due to the constantly increasing demand, price pressure on the food industry also increased. The food industry therefore switched to cheaper products such as algae and bacterial mucilage, starch derivatives and cellulose ethers. 7

Alternative names:

According to Wikipedia , there are older synonyms for quince from the German language: Cretan apple, Kydonian apple, Hesperides apple, Venus or Adonis apple, cotton apple and Schmeck pear.

The "name in English" is quince.

Literature - Sources:

Bibliography - 20 Sources

1.Wikipedia Quitte. Quitten entsaften.
3.Pacifico S et al. Antioxidant properties and cytotoxic effects on human cancer cell lines of aqueous fermented and lipophilic quince (Cydonia oblonga Mill.) preparations. Food Chem MToxicol. November 2012.
4.Pflanzen Echte Quitte (Cydonia oblonga). Cydonia oblonga Quitten.
6.Kranz B. Das grosse Buch der Früchte. Exotische und einheimische Arten. Südwest Verlag: München. 1981.
7.Rehm S, Espig G. Die Kulturpflanzen der Tropen und Subtropen: Anbau, wirtschaftliche Bedeutung, Verwertung. 3. Auflage. Ulmer 1996.
8.USDA United States Department of Agriculture. Quitten - Früchte mit Heilwirkung.
10.Pamplona-Roger J. Heilkräfte der Nahrung. Advent-Verlag Zürich 2006.
11.Zentrum der Quitte. Quercetin.
13.Huber R et al. In vitro antiallergic effects of aqueous fermented preparations from Citrus and Cydonia fruits. Planta Med. März 2012.
14.Rätsch C. Enzyklopädie der psychoaktiven Pflanzen: Botanik, Ethnopharmakologie und Anwendung. 7. Auflage. AT-Verlag. 2004. Landwirtschaftlicher Informationsdienst Quitte: Frucht mit unverkennbarer Duftnote. Quitte.
18.Wikipedia Dreiblättrige Orange.
19.Wikipedia Japanische Zierquitte. Quittenbaum.
21.Gheisari HR et al. Drying method effects on the antioxidant activity of quince (Cydonia oblonga Miller) tea. Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment. 2014.
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