Vitamins and Minerals
Found Inside Quinces
Quinces (pronounced kwins) are
loaded with Vitamin C, dietary fiber, copper and other
important nutrients our bodies seek. Quinces can be
both nutritious and delicious when juiced with other
ingredients but you want to be careful if you plan on
juicing them alone.
Related to apples and pears, the quince tree bears a pome
fruit, which is bright golden yellow when mature, pear-shaped,
7-12 cm long and 6-9 cm broad. Here are a few of the questions
we attempt to answer about quinces.
- What vitamins and minerals in quinces make them so good
- What is the best method for juicing juinces?
- What are some great buying tips for quinces?
Plus, we'll do our best to provide some general information
about quinces that you might not find so easily elsewhere on
Let's begin our exploration of
Minerals in Quinces
Quinces are probably best known for being loaded with
Vitamin C, but they also can be a great source of dietary fiber
Vitamins in Quinces
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic Acid
- Trace amounts of Vitamin B-complex
Minerals in Quinces
The next time you think about quinces... think about how
they might add a powerful boost to your daily nutrition through
Tips for Juicing
Juicing quince can add both a tart (slightly sour) flavor
and valuable nutrients to most any home-juiced cocktail... or
it can result in a not-so-palatable drink that is difficult, if
not impossible to swallow.
Here are a few tips for juicing the quince that may help
turn your juicing experience into something you look forward to
and thoroughly enjoy.
Unless the sweet variety of quinces are available, they are
too acidic and astringent to be eaten raw and are generally
juiced with sweeter fruits to enhance their flavor.
Quarter quinces and remove cores but do not peel them before
processing them in your juicer. (Make sure you wash them
Quinces can be used in small amounts to enhance and deepen
the flavour of a variety of sweeter juices.
Almost anything that can be done with apples can be done
with the sweeter variety of quinces although they are a bit
harder to find so I don't hold them quite as high on my "most
versatile fruits" list... just keep in mind that they can be
quite sour if not ripe.
Purchasing Tips for
Here are a few tips for buying quinces that may help you get
the freshest ingredients. We'll also include a few storing tips
for quinces that you might find helpful.
Most varieties of quince are rock hard and quite sour,
though in the 1990's a sweeter variety called the "apple
quince" was developed and can be eaten raw and/or juiced.
Quinces are a seasonal fruit available in the early fall
through January, though in some areas they may still be
purchased through February and March.
Though most large grocery chains will have quinces available
in the fall, you may have to look a little harder to find
them in a tiny corner of the produce section. Not big sellers,
quinces are considered a specialty item.
Quinces can be round, oval or somewhat pear shaped. Their
appearance resembles a golden apple or pear.
Choose quinces that are firm with a pale yellow skin.
The yellow skin is often somewhat mottled with brown spots that
don't affect the flavor or quality but they should have a
distinct fragrant aroma indicating they are ripe.
Quinces that are shriveled, soft, or brown all over are no
If the quinces are not completely yellow, store them at room
temperature until they are fully ripened, yellow all over, and
emit a pleasant aroma. They should then be used quickly or they
will become mealy.
If you don't plan to use the ripe quince immediately, then
store them in the refrigerator where they will keep up to two
weeks. However, it's best to store them apart from apples and
pears because their penetrating aroma may affect the other
This article wouldn't be complete if we didn't
include a little general information about Quince, as well as a
few helpful links if you want to explore the quince fruit
The homeland of the quince lies between the
Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, a mountainous region called
the Caucasus that touches northern Turkey and Iran as well
as Southern Georgia. A knobby, irregular shaped variety
still grows wild in this part of the world.
Though the quince has had many names bestowed
upon it, the true scientific names are Cydonia oblongata or C.
There are two main varieties of quinces; the
more rounded variety is highly acidic and is used mainly for
making confections and jams. The cultivar that more closely
resembles the pear in appearance tends to be slightly sweeter,
though it is not considered a sweet fruit.
The Quince (Cydonia oblonga) is the sole member
of the genus Cydonia. It is a small deciduous tree, growing 5-8
m tall and 4-6 m wide.
Cultivation of the quince began in Mesopotamia,
an area now Northern Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates
Rivers. Between 200 and 100 BCE, this "golden apple" was
cultivated by the Greeks as it traveled into the Eastern
The quince was actually cultivated prior to the
apple and reached Palestine by 100 BCE. Reference to the apple
in the Song of Solomon may not have been an apple at all but
might have been a quince instead.
A Spanish explorer of the nineteenth century
visited Chile and wrote about quinces that were quite acidic
and astringent, but that developed a sweetness if allowed to
fully ripen on the tree.
By 1720 quince was thriving in Virginia. Many
home gardens throughout the colonies were reaping a fall
harvest from their quince trees; however, apples quickly
snatched the spotlight from the quinces.
Some historians believe Eve's fruit of
temptation might have been a pomegranate or possibly even a
In 1570 Pope Pius V gave a spectacular banquet
that featured as its piece de resistance, a quince pastry that
required "one quince per pastry."
The British were filling quince cavities with
sugar and baking them long before Americans were baking
When baking with quinces, add sugar only after
they become soft and the flesh starts to change in color from
white to pink.
Quince, like the apple and guava, produces a
natural pectin when cooked, making it ideal for jelling --
it is easily transformed into marmalades, jams, and
The earliest true preserves came about during
classical times when quinces were cooked with honey and
vinegar, a combination that produced a gel or pectin-like
Stews that combine sour fruits, such as quince,
with meats are traditional foods in Iran and still remain
popular today. Iranians also peel and core the quince and stuff
the cavity with meat stew.
The legendary golden apple of Hesperides that
Paris gave to Aphrodite was really a quince.
The ancient Greeks considered quinces to be the
symbol of fertility and dedicated them to the goddess of love.
One myth says that pregnant women who indulge their appetites
in generous quantities of quinces will give birth to
industrious and highly intelligent children.
The whole quince fruits are so fragrant at room
temperature they were used in ancient times to perfume the
room, much as we use room fresheners today.
Quinces have long been used as a herbal
medicine. Even today in Iran and other parts of the Middle
East, the dried pits of the fruit are soaked in boiling water
and used to treat sore throats and coughs.
Sources/Resources for Quince
Be sure to check out both our
"Juicing" and our "Smoothies"
sections for delicious recipes and more using