Quince, (Cydonia oblonga), a small tree or shrub of the rose family, grown for its edible fruit. The fruit has a strong aroma and is astringent in the raw state but makes an excellent preserve and is often used to give flavour and sharpness to stewed or baked apples.
Quince is a fruit that was highly prized by ancient civilizations, and it probably originated near the antique city of Smyrna, Turkey. The fruit was widely disseminated in artistic drawings, as wall paintings and mosaics at the lost city of Pompeii, Italy, and even though the ancient Greeks had developed and grafted quince with an exceptional quality, it is only in recent years that agricultural scientists have hybridized a fruit with a softer texture and a juicier flesh. Some modern Bible translations claim that Adam tasted in the Garden of Eden the fruit of an apple... but more likely that fruit was a quince, since apples came to the region at a much later date. Research scientists have hybridized many new cultivars of quince that far surpass the characteristics of the wild, seedling quince trees. From the ancient city of Smyrna, Turkey, this commercially grown hybrid is now produced for supermarkets in the Deep South where migrant Mexican works buy the fruit to satisfy their Latin palate appetites. Sometimes Smyrna trees bear fruit the very first year. Turkey has good quince crop with a long season that can ship to anywhere in the world.