Quince is a small tree or shrub with large yellow fruits that beckons passers-by with a sweet-tart smell from late summer to mid-autumn. The Latin name of the plant Cydonia comes from the name of the city of Cydon, located on the island of Crete, where it was widely cultivated in the first millennium BC. Interestingly, at that time, King Charlemagne ordered to plant bushes with lemon fruits throughout France.
What is quince?
The fruit of a tree of the Rosaceae family is a close relative of apples and pears. A distinctive feature of the fruit is that it is almost impossible to eat it fresh. It has a tart taste and is too viscous, because of this it can disrupt digestion, so it is recommended to eat lemon fruits of an exotic tree only in boiled, baked or canned form.
It is curious that the word "marmalade" comes from the Portuguese name for quince - "marmelo ".
The quince fruit has been identified with the symbol of love and fertility since ancient Greece. According to legend, the lemon fruit, radiating a marvelous aroma, was presented by Paris to Aphrodite. Since then, it has been called the "golden apple" or the "apple of discord." In medieval Europe, giving this fruit meant confessing one's feelings.
Initially, quince along with mountain ash, pear and apples were assigned to the genus Pear. However, there were many differences between these fruits, which forced scientists to separate the fruit into a separate genus Japanese pear. It included the following types of quince: Chinese, evergreen, chaenomeles. Despite a number of common features (tough flesh, a large number of seeds, a specific strong aroma, a stony structure), the plants had numerous differences.
In 1822, each species of quince was separated into a separate monotypic genus: Japanese (quince) - Henomeles, Chinese - Pseudocidonia, evergreen - Quince.
Archaeologists have determined that the golden apple tree is one of the oldest domesticated plants. It has been established that the first cultivated plantings of quince appeared in Asia four thousand years ago. Since then, the fame of the fragrant fruit has spread to other continents and countries. Today quince is cultivated in forty countries of the globe.
Areas allocated for planting quince:
- Turkey - 9800 hectares;
- Uzbekistan – 7,000 hectares;
- Argentina - 3200 hectares;
- Azerbaijan – 3100 hectares;
- Serbia - 2200 hectares;
- Algeria - 1800 hectares;
- Spain - 1400 hectares;
- Russia - 1000 hectares.
In addition, fruit-bearing trees can be found in Northern Iran, Latvia, Belarus, Crimea.
The area of quince cultivation is limited by average annual temperatures of +8 - 9 degrees Celsius, the absolute minimum is -15 degrees.
The height of an adult fruit tree reaches five meters. Quince leaves are similar to apple leaves, inflorescences are large white or pink. The fruits, depending on the variety, are spherical or pear-shaped and yellow, light lemon or dark yellow in color. The size of the fruit resembles a large apple. The peel of quince is covered with small villi, the pulp is low-juicy, astringent, sweetish, fragrant and very hard. The seeds are reddish-brown with a mucilaginous shell on the outside, contain a poisonous substance (amygdalin), which gives the fruit the smell of bitter almonds.
The value of quince fruits is determined by the significant content of a complex of vitamins, monosaccharides, biologically active substances. They have healing properties, help with eye diseases, sclerosis, hypertension, tonsillitis, soften the skin, have a powerful anti-inflammatory, restorative, antiseptic effect.
The ripening time of fragrant fruits is September-October.
Today, the fruit is used in:
- the food industry (for making jam, confiture, jam, candied fruit, sauce for meat dishes);
- medicine (as an antibacterial, diuretic, antiulcer agent);
- cosmetology (to cleanse oily skin, improve complexion, strengthen hair).
The scientific classification of the fragrant tree of the Rosaceae family has changed with the improvement of taxonomy and the development of botany. According to modern data, the Quince genus is monotypic, consisting of a single representative of the common quince (oblong). It is represented by five varieties or garden groups that differ in biological characteristics, ripening rate and fruit shape.
These include the following types:
- decorative (marble and pyramidal);
- garden (pear-shaped, apple-shaped, Portuguese).
Common varieties of quince and areas where they grow
- ”, North Caucasus region;
- "Gold of the Scythians", North Caucasus;
- "Persian sugar", Crimea, Volga region;
- Van Diemen, Crimea;
- "Kulyab apple-shaped", Tajikistan.
- Krasnoslobodskaya, Volga region, Caucasus;
- "Gurji", Dagestan;
- Ktyun Zhum, Southern Dagestan;
- “Kubanskaya”, Crimea, Russia, Caucasus, Moldova;
- "Teplovskaya", Lower Volga region;
- "Amber Krasnodar", Caucasus;
- Be-gi-Turush, Tajikistan.
- Zubutlinskaya, Dagestan, Caucasus;
- "Vraniska Denmark", territory of the former Yugoslavia;
- "Jardam", Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan;
- “Fertile micha”, America, Turkmenistan;
- Tursh, Armenia;
- "Ahmed Zhum", Dagestan;
- "Champion", Crimea, Russia.
Pear-shaped quince varieties are more juicy and sweet, and apple-shaped varieties are early ripening.
Four trump cards
The first thing that catches your eye is the size of the fetus, which rarely weighs less than 500 grams, and sometimes reaches 4 kilograms. This is the unconditional trump card of this fruit tree, since such heavyweights are not found among apples and pears. Interestingly, it is the large size of the light lemon fruit that attracts thieves to quince gardens. However, after tasting, they immediately throw them away. And all because the villains do not even realize that the value of quince is in its magnificent, strong, persistent aroma, and not in taste. This is her second advantage.
Thanks to this feature, quince is used in cooking to give characteristic bitter-sweet notes to compote, jam, jams, pastries.
The third trump card of a fruit with an unusual taste is its high biological value. The peel and pulp of quince are saturated with nutrients: vitamins, macro-, microelements, organic acids, pectins, saccharides. They supply the body with useful compounds and remove harmful heavy metals: uranium, zinc, lead.
Interestingly, the therapeutic effect of the boiled fruit is 2-3 times stronger than fresh.
The fourth quince trump card is the possibility of grafting a pear. This improves the taste, color of the fruit and makes it possible to obtain two fruits from one tree.
The nutritional value of quince per 100 grams of product is 48 kilocalories; the ratio of proteins, fats, carbohydrates is 0.6:0.5:9.6 grams.
Ripe quince fruits consist of:
- water (82%);
- fructose (6.27%);
- sucrose (2.38%);
- glucose (3.11%);
- citric acid (0.3%);
- chlorogenic acid (0.07%);
- malic acid (0.42%);
- fumaric acid (0.1%);
- tartaric acid (0.06%);
- dietary fiber (2.9%);
- starch (1.5%);
- ash (0.9%).
The amount of organic acids in fruits depends on the time of collection, ripeness and variety of the fruit tree. Quince contains a large amount of vitamins and minerals.
|Element name||Content in 100 grams of product, milligram|
|Vitamin E (TE)||0.4|
|Vitamin PP (Niacin equivalent)||0.2|
|Vitamin A (RE)||0.167|
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||0.04|
|Vitamin B1 (thiamine)||0.02|
ethyl esters, which give the characteristic odor to the fruit. Up to 23% of mucus is concentrated in the seeds, which causes the enveloping effect of boiled fruits.
- sugary substances (252.5 mg%);
- amygdalin glycoside (0.505%);
- fatty oil (16.92%);
- aldehyde sugar (1.01%);
- resinous substances (1.06%);
- pectin compounds (8.66%);
- vitamin C (96.2 mg%).
The following were found in quince leaves:
- tannins (5.26%);
- alkaloids (0.0345%);
- vitamin C (118.2 mg%);
- glycosides (0.281%);
- vitamin K.
Quince has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. The boiled fruit is used to normalize the functioning of the intestines, with jaundice, tachycardia, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Fresh fruit is prescribed for anemia, problems with the cardiovascular system, digestive tract, as a diuretic.
Quince seeds, when shaken, secrete mucus, which has an expectorant, enveloping, antitussive effect, thanks to which they help to calm the stomach during an exacerbation of an ulcer. In addition, quince seed mucus is used in dentistry for the treatment of periodontal disease, glossitis, and gingivitis.
Remember, the seeds contain the poisonous substance amygdalin, which has a toxic effect on the human body. To avoid health problems, only whole seeds are used to make jelly.
Useful properties of quince:
- fights stress, has a calming effect on the psyche;
- contains antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, reducing the risk of cancer;
- treats stomach ulcers (according to Japanese Shinshu University research);
- favorably affects the liver, eyes;
- relieves headaches, uterine bleeding;
- quenches thirst well;
- freshens breath;
- eliminates vomiting;
- promotes appetite;
- makes you feel better after a hangover;
- relieves inflammation, skin irritation, used for burns;
- softens the dermis;
- relieves spasms of cerebral vessels;
- cleanses the intestines from the products of putrefaction, fermentation;
- lowers cholesterol levels;
- enhances bile secretion;
- has an antimicrobial effect;
- improves complexion, tightens pores;
- reduces puffiness;
- heals hemorrhoidal fissures in the anus;
- improves digestion of food, promotes weight loss.
Thus, quince has the following actions:
Indications for quince:
- liver failure;
- cold, flu;
- stomach ulcer, gastritis;
- heart disease, liver disease;
Remember, the fruits, the whole intact seeds, and the leaves of the fruit tree have beneficial properties.
In addition to the medicinal effect, quince can be harmful to health if used in the following cases:
- with frequent constipation, pleurisy;
- in enterocolitis, since the intake of fruit can provoke spasms, blockage of the intestine;
- if allergic to the product.
Fluff on the surface of quince irritates the vocal cords and larynx, which causes coughing, sore throat, and hoarseness. Therefore, singers, teachers, lecturers and people whose professional activities are related to oratory should refuse to use this fragrant fruit fresh.
Quince and pregnancy
Expectant mothers are allowed to consume the fruit boiled, subject to individual tolerance of the product.
Quince is a source of vitamins for pregnant women, which, thanks to its unique properties, relieves:
- high blood pressure;
- bleeding gums.
In addition, quince contributes to the full development of the fetus. However, due to the excessive acidity and high content of vitamin C, it is not recommended to give this fruit to children under three years of age, since the child's body is not yet adapted to digest such a "heavy" product.
Application in cooking
Quince is widely used in the food industry in different countries. The aroma of the raw fruit is unusual, but pleasant. It traces notes of tree bark, unripe pear, autumn flowers, sour apple. Quince sometimes smells like a tropical fruit. Jams, jellies, elite white wines (Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Сhardonnay), marshmallows, candied fruit, marmalade, sauces, gravies for meat dishes are made from it. To give a sour taste, quince slices are added to borscht, cabbage soup, soup, pickle, pastries or even tea. In ancient Greece, the miracle fruit was baked with honey, and in the east they were stuffed with ground beef and beans.
When fresh, the fruit is too hard, contains bitter tannins. But stewed quince is much sweeter, softer and healthier. Prolonged heat treatment gives a light pink, reddish or deep purple hue to the Asian fruit.
Before cooking, all seeds are removed from quince, as they contain a poisonous component - amygdalin, which, when ingested, turns into cyanide and leads to poisoning of the body.
Remember that the fruit's value lies in the subtle aroma concentrated in the peel. In Transcaucasia and Central Asia, fruit pulp is added as a seasoning to all national dishes. They even stew meat with it, so when cooking quince, a very thin layer of peel is removed to preserve the smell. In Spain, marmalade is made from the fruit, which is usually eaten with spicy cheese. Together with meat and rice, they stuff the bird with it.
In Iran, quince is used to make canned syrup, which is usually diluted with lime juice or water before consumption.
Application in medicine
Due to its useful properties, fragrant lemon fruit has a beneficial effect on the psyche, respiratory organs, gastrointestinal tract, and immunity. Quince has a tonic, hemostatic, enveloping, softening and antiseptic effect.
It is used to prepare a medicinal syrup for anemia, an aqueous decoction to improve the functioning of the digestive tract, an infusion for the treatment of bronchial asthma, and a tea to normalize the activity of the kidneys.
Recipes for the preparation of medicinal products from quince:
- Fruit syrup. This is an effective remedy for anemia, heavy uterine bleeding. To prepare the syrup, carefully grind the quince fruits, fill them with water, bring to a boil, cook until softened. After that, squeeze the juice out of the pulp. Boil the drink until the syrup is thick. Take 20 milliliters before meals three times a day.
Interestingly, fresh quince fruits contain a lot of iron, so they are recommended for people to treat and prevent iron deficiency anemia.
- Slime from seeds. A viscous liquid is used as an antitussive, enveloping, emollient, expectorant, sedative. It facilitates the course of gastric ulcer, helps with bronchitis, colitis, diarrhea. Mucus is obtained by shaking quince seeds (5 grams) with boiling water (150 milliliters) for 10 to 15 minutes. Take 50 milliliters three times a day 30 minutes before meals or in between meals.
- An aqueous infusion of leaves. It weakens and sometimes stops an attack of bronchial asthma, relieves inflammation in diseases of the stomach, reducing intestinal motility. To prepare the infusion, pour 5 grams of leaves with 200 milliliters of hot water, put in a water bath. Boil for 15 minutes. Leave the resulting broth for 45 minutes, then strain. Add water to the healing drink until the initial volume is obtained. Take 15 - 30 milliliters four times a day before meals.
- Decoction of seeds. It is used to treat skin diseases, sore throat, alleviate gastrointestinal problems. Cooking method: add 5 grams of quince seeds to 300 milliliters of cold water, heat in a water bath (to a boil). Cover the broth, wrap with a towel, leave for two hours. After the specified time, strain the jelly. Take a decoction of 100 milliliters before meals three times a day.
Make sure the seeds are intact when preparing the enveloping potion. Damaged seeds should not be used, as they release toxic substances and pose a threat to human health.
A characteristic feature of the violation of the integrity of the seed coats is the appearance of the smell of bitter almonds.
- Vitamin preparation. Wash and peel a kilogram of fresh fruits. Divide each fruit into four parts, scroll everything through a meat grinder. Add a kilogram of sugar to the resulting mass, mix. "Canned" vitamin mixture retains beneficial properties, nourishes the body, refreshes and invigorates. Store the workpiece in the refrigerator. Take 5 - 10 milligrams, mixing in green tea.
Fruit syrup, mucus, decoction of seeds, water infusion of leaves cannot be stored for more than three days in the refrigerator, because pathogenic flora quickly multiplies in them, which spoils product.
Use in cosmetology
Ripe quince fruits and seeds are used to prepare decoctions to strengthen hair, nourishing masks and lotions to improve the condition of oily skin.
The benefits of fruit in cosmetology:
- A decoction of the leaves. Used to strengthen and color hair with early graying. To prepare a decoction, take 100 grams of dry quince leaves, pour a liter of boiling water, leave for an hour, strain.
How to use: wash your hair, rinse your hair with the decoction. To obtain a lasting effect of tinting strands, the procedure is recommended to be carried out 2-3 times a week. The best result is observed among brunettes, brown-haired women.
Remember, natural dyes do not damage the structure of the hairline, unlike industrial chemicals (especially ammonia products), which dry out the curls, making them weak, dull, brittle and lifeless. As a result, the natural pigment is destroyed, lifeless strands begin to fall out. In addition, chemicals tend to accumulate in the body, cause allergic reactions, the development of cancer.
- Fruit lotion. Improves complexion, eliminates oily sheen, removes freckles. To prepare the lotion, mix equal amounts of egg white (previously beaten), quince juice, camphor alcohol. Before applying the composition, cleanse the skin of impurities. Moisten cotton with lotion, wipe your face. Use the product in the morning and evening. After regular performance of the procedure, the skin acquires freshness, becomes smooth and velvety, oily sheen disappears.
- Pulp mask for aging skin. To cleanse and nourish the mature dermis, it is recommended to apply the fruit mixture on the face for 15 minutes daily for 15 to 20 days.
How to prepare the mask: grate quince, mix with egg white (for oily porous skin) or yolk (for dry, normal) and cream in equal amounts. Apply the resulting mushy mixture to the face, wait 15 minutes, remove the residue with a damp swab, rinse the skin with water.
- Fruit mask for acne. Grate the ripe quince fruit, apply on the face for 20 minutes. After the specified time, wash off the mask with warm water, apply a soothing cream.
To lighten freckles, age spots, regularly wipe the skin with fresh quince juice.
To remove the inflammation from the burned area, it is recommended to make mucus from the seeds. Lubricate the problem area with the resulting product twice a day.
A decoction of seeds normalizes the functioning of the sebaceous glands, relieves dandruff.
To nourish aging, withering skin, it is useful to massage with a slice of fruit.
Quince is a dark yellow fruit with an aroma reminiscent of unripe pear, autumn flowers, sour apple and tree bark. It has unique healing properties, is a source of youth, health, and has a beneficial effect on the psyche. Fresh fruit juice relieves cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory diseases and anemia. Boiled quince is a good antiemetic.
In order to get the maximum benefit from the fruit, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the following fruit selection criteria: the skin must be uniformly colored yellow without green spots; avoid buying damaged fruit with dents and choose large fruits with a dense structure.
After purchasing, wrap the quince in polyethylene, store separately from vegetables and fruits in the refrigerator. If you place apples, pears, bananas next to lemon fruits, this will speed up their ripening. The maximum shelf life of fresh quince as a whole in the refrigerator is 60 days.
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