The quince, or Cydonia oblonga, is a small deciduous tree related to apples and pears. The Ancient Greeks valued the quince so much that they considered its fruit to be blessed by Aphrodite or Venus and the statues of this Greek Goddess show her holding a quince fruit in her right hand. These statues of Venus with a quince fruit in her right hand refers to the prized ‘golden apple’ awarded to the Goddess by Paris as an appreciation of her unparalleled beauty. As the fruit was considered an icon of the goddess of love, traditionally a bride and the groom ate a single quince fruit during their marriage ceremony with a view to endorse compatibility and bliss. This ritual continued till the Middle Ages when people presented quince fruits as a symbol of love and they were consumed at wedding breakfasts as a preparation for the charming and enjoyable days between married couples. The quince was cultivated by the Greeks between 200 and 100 BCE and was cultivated prior to the apple, though the cultivation of the quince began in Mesopotamia. Currently, Turkey ranks first in world quince production by producing a quarter of the total world production.
When put in water, the seeds of the quince engorge and are used for their mild laxative features: the seeds puff up when placed in water and forms a sticky substance. This sticky mass formed by soaking the seeds in water is used to heal respiratory ailments, particularly in children. In addition, this gelatinous substance is also applied topically to heal minor burns and bruises.
Storing: Store them at room temperature until they are fully ripened and emit a pleasant aroma. If you don’t plan to use the ripe quince immediately, then store them in the refrigerator where they will keep up to two weeks. However, it’s best to store them apart from apples and pears because their penetrating aroma may affect the other fruits.