Food & Drink

What Is Quince Fruit and How Do You Use It?

Last Updated on March 27, 2024 | 0 Comments
Quince fruit in and around a basket

When you hit the farmers market this fall, keep an eye out for quince, a seasonal fruit that’s not commonly found in grocery stores. But what is Quince? Quince is a very unique fruit that, when prepared properly, brings a fresh twist to your breakfast oatmeal or your pastries and baked goods. 

Resembling a golden apple but with a unique taste and texture, quince holds secrets waiting to be uncovered. From its initial appearance to its surprising transformation when cooked, there's more to quince than meets the eye. 


 Jump to Section

Book a Gourmet Cooking Class Now
Kick-start your culinary confidence with help from a world-class chef. See what's cooking in your city today.
Book Now

What Is a Quince?

A quince is a type of fruit similar to an apple or a pear, but much less commonly found and with some distinctive differences. Quince grows on trees and is one of the fleeting gems of fall produce. The quince fruit has been around for centuries and originates from the area known as Northern Persia. 

Despite being firm and astringent when raw, they transform into a soft, rosy-hued delicacy when cooked. Quinces are commonly used in jams, jellies and preserves. You can also enjoy them as a filling in pies and tarts.

Whole and sliced quince with the leaves on
via Canva

What Does Quince Taste Like?

Most people do not find the taste of raw quince appealing. It’s hard, grainy and tastes acidic compared to milder fruits like pears. If you cook quince, however, it develops a very pleasant texture and flavor that is fruity and sweet with hints of vanilla.

When cooked, the texture also softens to a velvety consistency, offering a satisfying contrast to its initial firmness. When adding spices, such as cinnamon, cloves or star anise during cooking, the quince's natural flavors intensify.

Quince cut in half with seeds next to a sprig of rosemary
via Canva

What Does a Quince Look Like?

The quince fruit looks like a misshapen or bumpy yellow apple. It may be more greenish if it has been picked before full ripeness, so be sure to seek out fruits that are golden yellow for the best flavor. 

Quince in and around a basket
via Canva

How Do You Pronounce Quince?

Two common pronunciations are “kwince” and “kince.” But which is correct? Truth be told, it’s a toss-up. Most people will pronounce it as “kwins,” accentuating the “qu.”

Book an Online Cooking Class Today
Five-star chefs. Step-by-step coaching. Flexible menus. Come see what's cooking in a live online cooking class.
Book Now

What Is Quince Paste?

Quince paste is the most readily edible form of the quince fruit. And because quince is very seasonal, the quince fruit paste is the most common preparation found in the store out of season. Quince paste is simply quince fruit cooked down to a consistency similar to jam. Quince is high in pectin, so after boiling it in water, you’ll end up with quince paste. 

The best part about quince paste is how versatile it is. You can stir it into oatmeal or yogurt to add a burst of fruity flavor. You can also get creative and use it as a filling for pastries. Additionally, if you're putting together a cheese board, quince paste is a must-have condiment — it adds a sweet-tart kick that pairs perfectly with cheese. 

Quince paste on a wooden board next to whole quince fruits
via Canva

How To Eat Quince Fruit

When it comes to eating quince, consuming the fruit raw isn't the usual route because it tends to be quite bitter for most palates. For a more enjoyable experience, quince is typically boiled down before eating. This cooking process helps to soften its texture and mellow out its bitterness, making it more palatable and enjoyable. 

Quince marmalade in jars next to quince
via Canva

Can You Eat Quince Raw?

As mentioned, you can eat quince raw, but most find it too hard and grainy to be pleasant. Try chopping up quince into small pieces and using it as a salad topping to see if you can adapt to the raw taste. However, cooking the quince for consumption is the optimal preparation method.

Slices of raw quince
via Canva

How To Prepare Quince for Eating

Preparing quince is easy, but takes a little time, which is why the quince fruit is not as popular as apple or pear. Start by removing the skin, then cut the fruit into quarters and remove the seeds. Slice the quince into evenly-sized pieces and boil in water for about 40 minutes.

As the quince cooks, you'll notice its color transform from golden yellow to a pinkish hue, indicating that it's ready to eat. This simple method unlocks the quince's flavor and makes it tender and delicious, perfect for various culinary applications.

If you want some more advice on how to prepare quince or any other ingredients that are unfamiliar to you, it’s a good idea to look into cooking classes near you. Professional chefs will be able to provide a range of tips on how to include ingredients like quince in delicious dishes that help the unique flavors shine. Online cooking classes are also a good option if you want to participate in the session from your own kitchen. 

Raw quince, cooked quince in a bowl, quince paste and sugar on a table
via Canva

Is Quince Healthy?

It’s a fruit, so it’s no surprise that quince is healthy. The grainy texture may not be appealing to eat raw, but it means that quince is high in fiber. It’s also loaded with vitamin C and is low in calories, with about 57 calories in a 100g fruit.

Quince on a tree
via Canva

Gourmet Cooking Classes Near You
Take your culinary skills to new levels with guidance from five-star chefs.
Book Now

Where To Buy Quince Fruit

Quince is a seasonal fruit product and may be hard to find. Your best bet is farmers markets in regions that grow apples and pears because these orchards may have a couple of quince trees in the mix. 

Otherwise, keep an eye out for quince in the produce section of your grocery store during the fall. Just keep in mind that it may look greenish early in the season. Hold out for golden yellow quince for the best flavor profile.

Quinces in a basket with trees behind
via Canva

Learning to recognize and prepare seasonal produce like quince brings variety to your kitchen table. It might be tempting to pass over quince fruit simply because it requires a little work to make it shine, but those who put in the effort will be rewarded with the delicate splendor of the quince.

For even more ways to explore your favorite foods, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.