Quinces originated in the Caucasus region, and Turkey remains the largest producer, although they are grown throughout the Middle East as well as in Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina. Though quinces were once grown widely in the United States, they have been subject to insects and blights, and now most of the quinces available in the United States come from Argentina.
Quinces are especially high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol. Quinces are a good source of vitamin A and iron, and they provide moderate amounts of potassium, vitamin C, and calcium. Quinces’ high acid content is thought to help with the digestion of fatty meals. Research on the closely related Chinese quince shows potential for preventing stomach lesions and combating some viruses.
The high pectin content of quinces accounts for their common use in jams and jellies. Quinces were traditionally used to produce an extract for treating coughs and sore throat, as well as for digestive problems. They also have a pleasing sweet smell and have long been used as the base for pomanders.Nutritional Facts
One medium raw quince provides 52 calories, 14.1 g carbohydrate, 0.4 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 1.7 g dietary fiber, 37 IU vitamin A, 14 mg vitamin C, 3 mcg folic acid, 181 mg potassium, 4 mg sodium, 16 mg phosphorus, 10 mg calcium, 7 mg magnesium, and 0.12 mg iron.