The quince apple and pear both belong to the Rosaceae (rose) family. The only fruit what they grow it for the fragrance and the taste. In “Ancient Rome” they called the quince as “golden apple”. In Europe, quinces are commonly grown in central and southern areas where the summers are sufficiently hot for the fruit to fully ripen. They are not grown in large amounts; typically one or two quince trees are grown in a mixed orchard with several apples and other fruit trees: so were they grown in the 18th-century New England colonies, where there was always a quince at the lower corner of the vegetable garden.
Quinces in England are first recorded in about 1275, when Edward I had some planted at the Tower of London.However, most varieties of quince are too hard, astringent and sour to eat.The origin of the Spanish word for our membrillo quince comes from the name for the quince tree’s branches. When the branches are new, they are tender, flexible, and highly resilient, just like “mimbre” (wicker). “Membrillo” is the diminutive of “mimbre” .
Quince has always been prized for its medicinal properties, and is known to have been cultivated in ancient Babylon.
The Greeks were familiar a common variety of quince grown in Crete, in the city of Cydon. In Greece, quince was sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility. According to various sources, including Plutarch, Greek brides chewed on a piece of quince to get sweet-smelling breath before entering the bridal chamber.
The Romans continued the Greek tradition, representing the goddess Venus holding a quince in her right hand. They also gave quince to the couple to dine on as a symbol of good luck and fertility. In the Middle Ages, quince was also highly valued.The quince fruit has long been home grown and cooked in rural environments, thanks to its long shelf life, extensive culinary applications, and high energy content.
Its suspension has hepatoprotective effect, and fresh juice and decoction have obvious inhibitory effect on intestinal bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus. Arabs also valued this fruit and recognised its many medicinal virtues.
High in pectin, they are used to make jam, jelly and quince pudding, or they may be peeled, then roasted, baked or stewed; pectin levels diminish as the fruit ripens. The flesh of the fruit turns red after a long cooking time. The very strong perfume means they can be added in small quantities to apple pies and jam to enhance the flavor.In the Balkans and elsewhere, quince brandy and quince liquor are made.In Hungary, made from quince jam, soup,compote,souse, cheese, and Palinka is well .After the discovery of methods of preserving foods in sugar in the fourth century AD, Roman agriculturist and writer Palladius worked on the idea of baking quince honey strips, which reduced its volume by half and resulted in a spread. As early as the seventh century, recipes for jellies prepared with quince juice and honey began to appear. The alchemist and confectioner Nostradamus left several written recipes for quince compote in his book. His writings explained that chefs who peeled the fruit before cooking it did not know what they were doing, as the skin actually accentuates the smell of the fruit.