Quince

Quince Plant Information


Quince grows in the following 10 states:

Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Oregon, California, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio

Four other species previously included in the genus Cydonia are now treated in separate genera. These are Pseudocydonia sinensis and the three flowering quinces of eastern Asia in the genus Chaenomeles. Another unrelated fruit, the bael, is sometimes called the "Bengal quince".Quince is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including brown-tail, Bucculatrix bechsteinella, Bucculatrix pomifoliella, Coleophora cerasivorella, Coleophora malivorella, green pug and winter moth.The immature fruit is green with dense grey-white pubescence, most of which rubs off before maturity in late autumn when the fruit changes color to yellow with hard, strongly perfumed flesh. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, 6-11cm (2-4in) long, with an entire margin and densely pubescent with fine white hairs. The flowers, produced in spring after the leaves, are white or pink, 5cm (2in) across, with five petals.It is native to rocky slopes and woodland margins in South-West Asia, Turkey and Iran although it thrives in a variety of climates and can be grown successfully at latitudes as far north as Scotland. It should not be confused with its relatives, the Chinese quince, Pseudocydonia sinensis, or the flowering quinces of genus Chaenomeles, either of which is sometimes used as culinary substitutes.The tree grows 5 to 8 metres (16 to 26ft) high and 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20ft) wide. The fruit is 7 to 12 centimetres (2.8 to 4.7in) long and 6 to 9 centimetres (2.4 to 3.5in) across.The quince (/kwns/; Cydonia oblonga) is the sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae (which also contains apples and pears, among other fruits). It is a small deciduous tree that bears a pome fruit, similar in appearance to a pear, and bright golden-yellow when mature. Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is also grown for its attractive pale pink blossoms and other ornamental qualities.

The fruit was known to the Akkadians, who called it supurgillu; Arabic al safarjal "quinces" (collective plural). The modern name originated in the 14th century as a plural of quoyn, via Old French cooin from Latin cotoneum malum / cydonium malum, ultimately from Greek , kydonion melon "Kydonian 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, Ann Leighton notes in records of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Newburyport, Massachusetts.Charlemagne directed that quinces be planted in well-stocked orchards. Quinces in England are first recorded in about 1275, when Edward I had some planted at the Tower of London.
The cultivar 'Vranja' Nenadovic has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
Some varieties of quince, such as 'Aromatnaya' and 'Kuganskaya' do not require cooking and can be eaten raw. However, most varieties of quince are too hard, astringent and sour to eat raw unless "bletted" (softened by frost and subsequent decay). 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. Adding a diced quince to apple sauce will enhance the taste of the apple sauce with the chunks of relatively firm, tart quince. The term "marmalade", originally meaning a quince jam, derives from marmelo, the Portuguese word for this fruit.
In the Balkans and elsewhere, quince brandy and quince liqueur are made. In Carolina in 1709, John Lawson allowed that he was "not a fair judge of the different sorts of Quinces, which they call Brunswick, Portugal and Barbary", but he noted "of this fruit they make a wine or liquor which they call Quince-Drink, and which I approve of beyond any that their country affords, though a great deal of cider and perry is there made, The Quince-Drink most commonly purges."
In Kashmir, India, quinces are grown in abundance and are a seasonal fruit. They are called 'Bum-choonth' and are cooked with brinjals and enjoyed as a delicacy by Kashmiri Pundits.
In the Alsace region of France and the Valais region of Switzerland, liqueur de coing made from quince is used as a digestif.
In Spain, the sweet and floral notes of carne de membrillo (quince meat) contrast nicely with the tangyness of the cheese.[bettersourceneeded] Boiled quince is popular in desserts such as the murta con membrillo that combines Ugni molinae with quince.In Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela the membrillo, as the quince is called in Spanish, is cooked into a reddish, jelly-like block or firm, reddish paste known as dulce de membrillo. It is then eaten in sandwiches and with cheese, traditionally manchego cheese, or accompanying fresh curds.
Quince was mentioned among other plants, by Avicenna, an Iranian philosopher and physician, in his book Canon to treat abnormal uterine bleeding.
The phytochemistry of quince has been under study for several possible medical uses.
The seeds contain nitriles, which are common in seeds of the rose family. In the stomach, enzymes or stomach acid or both cause some of the nitriles to be hydrolyzed and produce hydrogen cyanide, which is a volatile gas. The seeds are only likely to be toxic if a large quantity is eaten.

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