The ancient Greeks called the quince the “golden apple”; This fruit, which has high nutritional value and medicinal qualities, also symbolizes love in ancient times.
December is quince month, a season in Greece when the yellow fruit that resembles something between an apple and a pear is at its ripest and perfect for use in sweet recipes.
When eaten raw, it is dry and in fact tastes sour or bitter. It is generally cooked, and if cooked with the right ingredients it can be used to make delicious desserts and a host of other dishes.
More importantly, this “golden apple” has important medicinal properties and high nutritional value, which makes it an important part of an individual’s diet.
Quince bush grows wild in Mediterranean countries and its season is considered the end of autumn.
Quince in myths and traditions
Quince, which originated in the Caucasus, eventually made its way to ancient Greece, where the fruit first appeared in Sedonia (Κυδωνία) in northern Crete, in today’s Chania, where it got its name.
It is commonly believed that the quince even precedes the apple, and some believe that many references to “apples” in antiquity actually meant the quince – including the story of the apple that Eve gave to Adam.
The ancient Greeks called it “melon”. According to Greek mythology, the quince is associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love.
In ancient art, Aphrodite is often depicted holding a quince, the fruit that symbolizes not only love, but beauty and fertility as well.
The ancient Greeks, who were closely associated with fertility, gave it a prominent place at weddings, where it was presented as a gift; The bride also used it to freshen her breath before the ceremony.
In parts of northern Greece in the distant past, the groom’s family would accompany him to church carrying a pillar with quince, pomegranate and apples tied to it.
Also, the bride was supposed to chew a quince at the ceremony to ensure that the couple would have a baby.
Greek traditions also say that if you see a quince in your dreams, you will have happiness and peace in your home.
A lot of frequent references to quince in ancient times are not accidental, because the fruit contains important vitamins and nutrients that make it one of the healthiest fruits.
It has a high content of water, as well as potassium, while also containing vitamins A, B complex, C. It also contains a large amount of fiber, and among its nutrients are phosphorus and iron.
Quince is also rich in tannins, which have a strong antioxidant effect, while providing 60 calories per 100 grams.
A golden apple a day keeps the doctor away
The benefits of quince are many, so it is healthy to add it to your diet as often as possible.
It is high in pectin (soluble fiber), which helps control cholesterol levels and prevents constipation, and helps those trying to lose weight.
Pectin is also important for those with type 2 diabetes, as it slows down the absorption of sugar, stabilizing its blood levels.
The high content of vitamin C (a medium piece of fruit provides about a third of the recommended daily amount of the vitamin) also stimulates the immune system.
However, the high dose of Vitamin C comes only when we consume quince raw. After cooking, a significant part of the vitamin is lost.
Their high potassium content is good for the heart as well, and according to research, a potassium-rich diet can prevent heart disease, while lowering the risks of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Quince contains beneficial antioxidants in one’s diet as it fights factors that destroy cells and make a person susceptible to serious diseases such as cancer. At the same time, the antioxidants present in quince show anti-aging properties as well.
Wine made from quince is very beneficial for asthma sufferers.
Raw quince can also be used against diarrhea, and according to studies, it also has antiviral properties, which are mainly caused by substances in the peel of the fruit.
Other important properties of quince include soothing an irritated stomach and improving digestive function. Its juice with roasted or boiled quince pulp can be used as an antiemetic.
Quince contains cuprum which has multiple beneficial effects on the body, as it reduces tissue damage, supports bone and nerve health, supports thyroid function, and reduces fatigue and weakness.
Finally, their proponents believe that frequent consumption of safflower facilitates the good function of the kidneys and liver.