Quince: How to Select, Store & Serve
Jan 27, 2016, Updated Sep 16, 2021
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I’d like to introduce you to a fruit that has been around for centuries, but that few people have heard of and even less have tried. Quince! Quince shares its birthplace with that of civilization, the Fertile Crescent in Asia Minor. Quince trees have been cultivated for over 4,000 years! Some even speculate that the quince was the Garden of Eden’s forbidden fruit and also the “golden apple” that Paris gave Aphrodite which started the Trojan War. With a history like that, how can you not be tempted to give this fruit a try?!
Quinces are related to apples and pears and they’re similar in appearance, but they are actually quite different. For starters, they cannot be eaten out-of-hand like apples and pears. Raw quinces are rock-hard and incredibly sour. To enjoy one, you must cook it. But please don’t let that stop you from trying this ancient fruit. Cooked quince is so exquisite and we guarantee the results will be well worth your effort! Place a bowl on your kitchen table and take note of the the delicate, fruity aroma with hints of vanilla. This scent is your first clue at just how heavenly quince really is!
How to Select
- Choose fruits that are solid and free of major bruises, wrinkling, or other signs of damage. Small marks on the skin do not usually affect the fruit.
- You may notice some fuzz on the fruit. This fuzz will fall off as it ripens. A fully ripened quince will be yellow or golden and give off a pleasant fragrance.
How to Store
- Quinces bruise easily so store in a single layer. Any weight placed upon them will cause bruising.
- Store at room temperature for up to a week.
- Store in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
How to Serve
- The skin must be removed before cooking. Use a vegetable peeler to remove it. If you plan to make quince jam or preserves, be sure to save back the peel as it contains a large amount of pectin.
- Next, slice off a small piece at the bottom of the quince so it will sit up without wobbling. Use a sharp knife to core as you would an apple.
- When you cook quince, you’ll notice that the white/yellowish flesh will turn a deep pink or purple and the pleasant aroma will increase tenfold!
Here are some quince recipes we know you’ll enjoy!
Have you ever eaten quince? How was it prepared? Did you enjoy it? Please share in the comments below!