Curiosities of our garden: Quince

At Ananda Valley, we have been blessed with some abundantly giving quince trees. Quince, or Cydonia oblonga, belongs to the Rosaceae family, which also contains the apple and the pear (1). This is not surprising, considering the appearance of the fruit and tree.

However, quince is considerably different from apples and pears in its taste and structure; the fruit is hard and has a sour taste Generally, therefore, it is not eaten raw. To make marmalade is the most popular method of processing, and it is from quince, which, in Portuguese, is called marmelo, that marmalade derives its name (2).

Because quince fruit needs some more effort to eat than most fruits, the trees are often overlooked, and the fruit is relatively unpopular. Here, however, we do not like seeing food go to waste, and gladly make an effort to turn this fruit into all kinds of delights.

We also consider food to be our medicine, and thus we make sure to sustainably and organically produce as much as we can to fill our stomachs and souls – as well as those of our neighbours and visitors – with nutritious, healthy and tasty food.

Although underappreciated, quince is extremely well-suited to meet the needs of our bodies, and all parts of quince, even the seeds and the leaves, have been traditionally used to serve medicinal purposes. Quince is incredibly rich in pectin, which serves to protect our guts and heal potential damages (1). The high level of pectin also makes the fruit well suited for making jams and jellies without using too much sugar. Quince has furthermore been found to have anti-inflammatory effects due to its antioxidants and helps the metabolic and digestive system (3).

Not being able to eat the fruit raw can be considered a blessing. We find ourselves becoming creative in finding ways of processing food. And now, with the days getting shorter and the mornings colder, the boiled fruit and its juice, together with autumn spices like cinnamon, warms up and strengthens our bodies for the day to come.

1. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2016.00163/full
2. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-marmelada?
3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-quince-fruit