Thursday, November 14, 2019

Fruit of quince

The quince tree is native to a wide area that includes Caucasus, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Nowadays, there are still wild quince plants in Dagestan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenia and Iran.

Quince, Cydonia oblonga Mill. is one of the most important pome fruit species in the Rosaceae family. The genus Cydoniais monospecific and includes only a single species.

During ancient times, quince spread from its centre of origin to the east, to the region of the Himalaya Mountains, and has been cultivated for thousands of years in central Asia and in the Middle East. It was also grown on the islands of ancient Greece.

The ancient Biblical name for quince translates as “Golden Apple” and cultivation of Cydonia predates cultivation of Malus (apple) in the region once known as Mesopotamia, now Iraq.

Leaves are ovate to oblong, about 5 cm across and 10 cm long. Quince has hermaphroditic flowers. The solitary white flowers are 4–5 cm across, have 5 petals, 20 or more stamens, 5 styles, and an inferior ovary with many ovules Stamens are composed of a large number of filaments (15–20) and light-yellow anthers, which are arranged in three circular rows.

The fruit pulp varies in colour, density, juiciness, flavour, presence of granulation (stony cells) and taste. Most varieties are too hard, astringent and sour to eat raw unless 'bletted' (softened by frost and subsequent decay). Some cultivars have little or no astringency and the fruit can be eaten fresh.

This sweet, fragrant, jellylike confection is cut into slices and often served with a heady cheese. Quince is also served poached in either water or wine, and when so prepared develops a rich aroma and deep caramel-red color. In Armenia, quince is used in many savory as well as sweet dishes, and is often cooked with lamb. Quince fruit is also used by some home brewers to make very fine hard ciders.

Quince fruit is a valuable dietary product. The fruit contains good amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), pectins (fibers) and minerals and low in calories, carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. The fruit—always cooked—was an important source of pectin for food preservation, and a fragrant addition to jams, juices, pies, and candies.
Fruit of quince

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