Quince is usually available all year, but there are sometimes short breaks. Availability varies depending on the region, growing conditions, climate, and cultivar. For example, early fruiting varieties start to ripen in the Northern Hemisphere in September. Late fruiting varieties, or those grown in cooler conditions, can ripen as late as December. Some quinces, like California-grown quince, are in season from early spring through late fall.
It’s a fruit typically thought of as having a sweet taste, but it can also be savory. Many people like to make quince jam or chutney using this fruit.
Quinces are available fresh and frozen, and they’re perfect for making tart pies or sauces. They can also be used in detox juices or smoothies because they boast high levels of antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamin C. Additionally, quince has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and lower blood sugar levels due to its low glycemic index rating.
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How to Know If Quince Is Ripe
When you get a whiff of a good quince, you’ll immediately recognize it. When fully mature, their scent, which is described as floral, slightly musky, and eerily tropical, is impossible to ignore. If you squeeze them, they shouldn’t feel spongy at all. Instead, they should feel as hard as rocks.
Regarding the visual hints, you should search for the color yellow. When they are ready, quinces go from a lime-like green color to a golden yellow color, just like their close relatives, the Bartlett pear. You should always look for undamaged fruits free of soft spots, punctures, and bruises.
How to Harvest a Quince
When picking quince, you should be careful because the fruit is easy to damage. Cut the fruit off the tree with a sharp pair of garden shears. When picking quince fruit, choose the largest yellow fruit free of spots. Don’t pick fruit that is broken, bruised, or soft. Once you have picked the quinces, put them in a single layer in a cool, dry, dark place and turn them every day until they are ripe. If you pick the fruit when it is still green instead of golden yellow, you can use the same method to ripen it over six weeks before you use it slowly. Check it now and then to see if it’s ready. Don’t put the quince in the same place as other fruit. Its strong smell will make others smell bad. When the fruit is ready to eat, use it right away. If you wait too long, the fruit turns into mush. Quince can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if wrapped in paper towels and kept away from other fruits.
How to Store Quince
Don’t put quince in plastic or anything else with a seal. They might look fine on the outside after being here for a while. However, on the inside, they’ll be sad and dirty.
Quinces do best in places that are cool, dry, and airy. Even better if you can give them enough space, so they don’t touch each other. That way, if one rots, you can get rid of it easily, and it hasn’t hurt the others. If there are no holes and they are not bruised, they will last for a few weeks. Most quinces we find will have been scratched and bruised, so if you let them sit for a long time, keep an eye on them.
Quinces should not be kept with other fruits. Their smell is wonderful and enticing, but it’s also very strong, so anything you put next to them will smell like them.