Grab some Quince and Let the Fur Fly!
Did you know this fruit quince belongs to the same family that apples and pears belong to? Often overlooked this fruit is a bit larger but with a similar pear shape, also belongs to this family. While it’s true families come in all shapes and sizes, it’s because of their physical similarities that often, third parties are able to ‘see’ the familial resemblance. Similarly, food groupings, such as fruits, help us better understand the use and structure of foods. You should also know large lumpy quince has a lot of great nutrients and uses to offer! Learn about it at Greek Food and Organic Authority.
Before biting taking a big bite, note that its hard flesh is bitter so quince is best not eaten raw like pears or apples, unless it has been ‘bletted’-softened by frost or decay. This fruit when unripe appears green with shades of grey-white peeking through its skin. However, once fully ripened, it becomes soft, sweet and provides a wonderful fragrance. When selecting opt for large, smooth skinned fruits that are bruise or spot free. It can be either stored at room temperature or placed in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to two weeks. This statement comes from the Washington Post.
Prepping: No need to wash off its’ fuzzy coating until just before use. Also, it’s best to use a hefty cleaver if available, as the hard flesh resists small knives (i.e. paring knives). Unless you’re planning to strain the fruit, remove the core and seeds. These tips come courtesy of Williams Sonoma.
Nutritional breakdown: full of pectin, the ‘jelly like’ substance that makes ‘gel’; 1 quince (92 g) provides 52 calories; 0.1 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 4 mg sodium; 181 mg potassium; 14 g carbohydrates; 1.7 g fiber; 0.4 g protein; 23% daily value (DV) of vitamin C; 3% DV of iron and 1% DV of magnesium
The jelly like substance from the pectin makes quince a great addition to jams, jellies, compotes, and marmalades, however, additional creative ways to add more quince to your meals include:
- Spanish membrillo (mem-BREE-yo) (aka paste): aged cheese and this fruit combination
- Roasted quince and pears-tones down the sourness
- Pairs well with meats (e.g. pork, lamb, duck), including Fennel and Garlic Roasted Pork Roast with Warm Quince and Apple Compote and the Slow Roasted Lamb & Quince
- Marsala Baked with Rice Pudding
- Quince and Blueberry Crumble Cake
- Quince Raisin Tarte Tatin
Sure, this might be new territory for you. Know if a recipe calls for apples or pears, this fruit with its unique aromatic twist can be easily substituted for these better known fruits. Some other quince wince free cooking tips — lightly steam, saute or poach prior to using it in baked goods; the hard flesh can be hard to eat raw. Don’t be surprised that once cooked for a long period of time, this fruit turns red in color. Add maple syrup, honey, cinnamon, cloves and/or star anise for a great complement to any dish. Learn about it at Williams Sonoma.
I’m headed to the store now to grab some and surprise my family with a new variation of pie!
What’re you waiting for? Grab some quince and let the fur fly!
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