South Australia offers the perfect growing conditions to yield consistent, high quality quince.
Quince has a limited season growing in the cooler subtropical areas to cold temperate regions, similar to that of apples and pears. Fresh Please quinces are sourced from the cooler regions of South Australia in the pristine Adelaide Hills where the soil and climate produce fruit of exceptional quality and taste.
South Australian quince are sought after due to their recognition for being free from many pests and diseases that have plagued other countries.
The quince is related to apples, pears and plums as a member of the Rosacea (rose) family and is one of the earliest known fruits.
The quince is a lumpy, rounded pear-shape with a yellow skin that is slightly furry. Whilst quinces are deliciously fragrant, due to their astringency they must always be cooked prior to eating. Once cooked, the flesh of a quince will turn a beautiful rosy pink with the flavour of the fruit developing a sweet, piquant richness. Whilst essentially an unattractive looking fruit, once cooked the quince shares many of its families attributes including a pears' delicate floral aroma and apples cooked firmness.
Due to its astringency the quince must always be cooked prior to consuming. Fruit may be stewed, preserved or made into jams, jellies and pastes. Most varieties of quince will cook up to an attractive pink or rose colour and will have a sweet, piquant richness.
Selecting the best produce
Select fruit that is firm with a smooth skin. Slight marks on the skin do not affect the fruit, however fruit that is soft with deep bruising should be avoided.
A number of varieties can be successfully cool stored for a period of 2 months at a temperature of 0°–1°C (the temperature used for cool storing apples). Correct cool storage is important as otherwise fruit can develop superficial scalding and browning to the flesh.
Harvesting & Packaging
As the fruit approaches maturity, the deep green of an immature fruit will gradually lighten and slowly change to a golden yellow, this signaling the fruit has reached full maturity. Despite a quinces’ apparent firmness, once ripened the fruit will bruise easily with the skin marking if it is handled excessively. For this reason fruit for the fresh market is harvested once it has just started to yellow, but prior to reaching complete maturing.
Fresh Please quinces are always harvested by hand and picked at the perfect time, prior to ripening, to ensure they won’t mark during packing.
Quinces are in season and suitable for export from late March through to May.
Quince is a good source of vitamin C and a source of minerals such as zinc, copper, iron, potassium, and magnesium as well as B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). The particularly high level of antioxidants and vitamins found in quince are beneficial for keeping your skin looking healthy and young by helping to eliminate free radical damage to skin cells, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles and helping to defend your skin against the effects of UV radiation.
Quince contains good levels of vitamin C, phenolic and phytonutrient compounds. These are particularly powerful antioxidants that help neutralise cancer causing free-radicals and work as a protective scavenger against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) which play a role in aging and disease. Antioxidants have also been found to boost the immune system and may protect against heart disease, infections, cataracts and degeneration of the eyes macular.
Iron is an essential component in maintaining our bodies general well being and proper functions. Iron forms part of the protein hemoglobin, responsible for carrying oxygen around the body and is also a part of the protein myoglobin in muscles, making oxygen available for muscle contraction. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia with symptoms ranging from general fatigue, weakness, dizziness, brittle nails and headaches.
High potassium and low sodium levels may help prevention of high blood pressure. These foods also provide a defense against the appearance and effects of hypertension – which may help provide calmness to your day and good overall well being for the mind.
Dietary fibre reduces the transit time of food in your gut, improving gut microflora and helping to lower blood fat levels. Quince being significantly high in dietary fibre ensures your gastrointestinal system works efficiently providing you with more energy and helping you keep excess weight down by improving digestive health.