Quince: A Tart Autumn Fruit

 

Everyone knows what marmalade is. Though did you know that the very word "marmalade" in Portuguese means "quince jam"? The word "quince" sounds like "marmelo" - it was from quince that they made an amazing home-made marmalade from ancient times.

Quince: A Tart Autumn FruitIndeed, unlike most other fruits quince after prolonged cooking sustains shape and doesn’t soften to a watery, but retains elasticity, which makes the pieces look like marmalade. This 100% natural "marmalade" has an amazing aroma and subtle sweet taste. However, raw quince fruits look like large gnarly apples and not popular. This is due to the pulps’ high density and slightly astringent taste – it’s not so difficult to bite than to chew and swallow. Not for nothing in Ancient Rome newlyweds had to chew one quince together, allegorically overcoming life's difficulties.

The climate of Uzbekistan allows cultivating a lot of amazing fruits, including autumn favorites like persimmon, pomegranate and, of course, quince. Notably, local fruits unlike the Caucasian varieties do not reach two kilos, but can boast a sweeter and less astringent taste. The unusual taste is not the most amazing feature of these fruits. Their appearance is also curious. You can consider quince similar to both apple and pear, but this is only true for fruits already prepared for sale. In the garden, the ripe quince fruit is covered with a thin layer of brown fluff, which reminds of suede when touched. In order to clean this plaque, it is enough to wipe the fruit with a piece of cloth, and smooth surface of yellow appears before your gaze.

One can use quince for culinary not for marmalade only.  Jam from this fragrant fruit is ideal for filling pies, rolls and other pastry. Stewed quince fruits and quince drinks quenches thirst like nothing else, which is vital in the hot climate of Uzbekistan. In addition to sweet pastry fillings, quince is also used as seasonings and supplements to meat dishes of Uzbek cuisine, bringing unusual accents to their taste palette. Large pieces of quince are added even in pilaf!

Quince: A Tart Autumn FruitSince antiquity quince healing capabilities are respected as much as its taste. Thus for many hundreds of years doctors used it positive effect on the human health when treating gastrointestinal diseases. Nowadays, it has been confirmed that quince fruits possess antiseptic, hemostatic and astringent action, which makes it possible to use for the treatment of a number of diseases. Quince was also used in cosmetology, where various masks and lotions are made on its basis, giving the skin velvety and smoothness. It was for reason that in ancient Greece quince was considered a symbol of love, beauty and fertility and was treated as the favorite fruit of goddess Venus.

It's wonderful to go out to the Uzbek garden in the autumn evening and touch the ripening fruits of quince while gazing around. You would feel the heat they accumulated over a day is transmitted through suede peel first to your hand and then throughout the body bringing harmony and tranquility…

Photos:

Quince: A Tart Autumn Fruit Quince: A Tart Autumn Fruit Quince: A Tart Autumn Fruit

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