This exquisite fruit believed to have originated in the Caucasus or Iran, has been cultivated since antiquity by Greeks on the Mediterranean Island of Crete. Cretans call the apples of Cydouria where the quince trees thrive on the fertile terroir.
In the western world, quince has been cultivated far longer than apples, but in North America only California grows relatively small amounts of delicious fruit.
This whitish green hard fruit turns yellow when ripe. It belongs to the rose family and starts to oxidize as soon as it is cut. It must be handled carefully before cooking in acidulated water to slow down oxidation.
When ripe, the fruit becomes soft. It is rich in tannins and aids digestion.
The hard skin covered with a layer of fuzz bruises easily.
Quince is rich in vitamin C and potassium.
In Middle Eastern countries quince is cooked with lamb or chicken. In Morocco, chicken and quince cooked in tajine is a specialty worth trying.
In western European cuisines quince is used mostly for compotes, jam, pastries, and making for paste that is served with tangy cheeses. Out-of-hand eating occurs but only occasionally.
Yield: 4 portions
2 quinces, washed, peeled, cored, sliced and placed in acidulated water
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 small stick of cinnamon
I juice of lemon
Heat the water in a heavy-bottomed pot, add sugar and stir to dissolve.
Add lemon juice and cinnamon cook for one minute. Add quince slices.
Cover lower heat and cook until the quince is soft enough to pierce.
N B If you like sweeter increase sugar, if you like less sweet decrease sugar.