Q is for Quince

This may be one of the more obscure choices in the luscious land of fruits and vegetables but that is also what made it interesting to me. Quince falls in to the “eat to have fun” category, for sure.

I have noted before that many of the “super” foods that are being “discovered” are  really traditional foods that have been in eaten in many parts of the world and are now  being analyzed for their nutritional content. Now quince does not fall in to the super foods category by any definition but it is a traditional food that was most popular in the 17th and 18th century. Actually quince could be considered an ancient food as some scholars think that it was a quince, not an apple, that Eve plucked from the Tree in the Garden of Eden.

In any event, the quince has been around a long, long time. The quince resembles a yellow pear in both appearance and taste. This is not a surprise since the quince is in the same family tree as the pear and apple. What is a bit magical about the quince is that it changes to a lovely pink/red hue when cooked.   And cooked it must be to be eaten.

Although quinces are eaten raw in some Middle Eastern countries, the fruit is much tastier if cooked. The fruit is quite hard to bite and bitter to taste ( due to the strong acid content) when in the raw state.  The high acid content does give a nice balance to apple pie and many cooks will add a few slices to their sweet desserts to enhance the flavors.

Quince is not a super food from a nutritional standpoint, although it is a great source of fiber and pectin, both are helpful in reducing cholesterol.  That doesn’t mean it is unworthy of our culinary attention. I think a quince would make an interesting, if not historic addition to any pie or stew or jelly.   You never know, you might just want to tempt someone this holiday too!

Eat Well ,Live Well Have fun!