Quinces are so healthy
In the harvest month of October, yellow-green fruits with a fuzzy skin, reminiscent of apples and pears, shine in the foliage: delicious quinces.
Only when they are processed, quinces develop their sweet taste. Quinces belong to the rose family. The oldest fruit in the world. They originate from Asia. Reached Europe's gardens in ancient times via Greece. In Greece, more precisely in Crete, the city of Cydonia (now Chania) in the northwest of the island, quinces received their scientific name Cydonia oblonga: apple of Cydonia.
As the fruit of the goddess of love Aphrodite, the fruit was considered a symbol of happiness, and the Greeks also poetically called it melimelon: honey apple. Because their flesh tastes sweet and juicy, and with their roundish shape, quinces are reminiscent of apples. But if you pick them and just bite into them like into an apple or a pear, you will not be happy. They taste good only processed as jam, jelly, chutney, quince bread or liqueur. Although they are not poisonous when raw, they are unpleasantly hard, woody and bitter due to their high tannin content.
What is in quinces?
In addition to abundant potassium, they provide minerals and trace elements sodium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese and fluorine, which are responsible for cell metabolism and oxygen transport in the body, among other things. Quinces also contain many vitamins: There is vitamin A and the B vitamin folic acid, which is important for pregnant women, and also lots of vitamin C.
The healing properties of these fruits have been known for many centuries. The Greek physician Pedanios Dioscorides attributed to the small pieces of gold the ability to help with respiratory distress, cholera, liver disease, eye inflammation or intestinal disorders. And the Benedictine nun and abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098 to 1179) recommended quinces against gout and ulcers.
If you want to use quince against sore throat and cough, you can soak the seeds in a glass of water and then bring to a boil. Then so-called quince mucilage is formed, which is supposed to relieve the urge to cough.
The anti-inflammatory quince mucilage can also be used in the form of compresses for burns or skin irritations, or as a face mask for stressed skin. Attention: If you work with the seeds of quinces, do not crush them. Because there is prussic acid in them, which is otherwise released.
If you want to prepare them, you must first remove the furry fluff from the peel.
Ingredients for quince chutney
– 1 kilogram of quinces – 200 grams of sugar – 2 teaspoons of salt – 175 white wine vinegar – four shallots – 20 grams of ginger – one pepper – two cardamom pods – two star anises
Wash quinces and rub the fluff from their skin with a coarse cloth. The down contains extremely many bitter substances, with which the plant defends itself against predators. Then peel, quarter, remove, dice the fruit. Mix with sugar and salt and infuse for one hour. Meanwhile shallots. Dice peeled ginger. Cut the pepper in half. Cut into fine strips. Remove the seed from the cardamom pods. Add everything with star anise and white wine vinegar to the sweetened quince mixture. Bring everything to a boil on the stove. Simmer at reduced heat for about half an hour. Do not forget to stir in between! Then pour the chutney into clean, hot rinsed jars, seal and place upside down on the lid for five minutes. Quince chutney goes well with cheese.