The quince is one of the "forgotten" fruit trees whose memory is by now lost, and only a few specimens were still cultivated; fortunately in recent years we are witnessing a return to the cultivation of the plants of our grandparents, whose fruits are perhaps not as beautiful as those of the selected varieties, but which can bring many advantages.
In fact, plants often no longer in cultivation are more resistant to pests and diseases that infest "new" varieties.
In the case of the quince the cultivation has been lost because the fruits of this beautiful plant are not raw eatable, but should be used cooked, in compotes or jams. Quince is a small tree, which, like apples, belongs to the great family of Rosaceae; does not exceed 5-6 meters in height, has light green, deciduous foliage, and in spring is filled with beautiful white or pink flowers, with five petals, similar to small roses, very decorative. The fruits are large, round or elongated, with a very compact and astringent dough.
Quinces are covered with a thin, sandy-colored fluff that hides a shiny skin and often lumpy fruits.
Quinces ripen in autumn, and are used to prepare the typical quince jam, which is widespread in most of Italy: it is a solid jam, to be cut into cubes.
Often these apples, rich in pectin, are mixed in small quantities with jams from other fruits, especially wild berries, to intensify their flavor and thicken their consistency.
It is a small, slow growing tree; it does not fear the cold and can withstand even intense and lasting frosts, it is therefore placed in the garden. Generally they do not require great care, except for a preventive treatment against the main insects before and after flowering, as happens with pears and apples; young specimens need watering; during the summer period it is often necessary to intervene with good water supplies, especially in the case of prolonged drought, because the quince produces a shallow root system, which therefore finds it hard to find water in very dry periods of the year.
If the plant is large and vigorous at the end of winter it is advisable to prune it, removing the older branches that have borne fruit the previous year, as well as the often present basal shoots, which tend to deprive the main water plant, at the expense of fruiting .
Quinces: Various recipes
Quince fruits are traditionally used for many uses; the main one is to produce the typical jam, prepared with the whole fruit, including seeds and peel, which is often very grainy and compact.
Once the fruits of quince were placed in drawers and cupboards to delicately aromatize the linen.
Furthermore this plant is also used in herbal medicine, using fruits, seeds and leaves, which have emollient, astringent and anti-inflammatory virtues.