Science & Health: the quince, the story of an ancient and unforgettable flavor

Le Goût de la Santé is back, the online column created and hosted by the immunologist Mauro MinelliResponsible for Southern Italy of the Foundation for Personalized Medicine. This week’s episode is all about quince. “In ancient times, it was Antimo da Bisanzio, a Greek physician who lived at the court of Byzantium and a great lover of food and drink, who told and wrote about the beneficial effects of quince, fruit with a pleasantly acidic tasteknown since time immemorial and appreciated not only for its flavor and aroma, but also for its health properties that mainly affect the digestive system,” explains Minelli.

“For the ancient Greeks, the quince was associated with the concept of fertility and the rite of marriage, so much so that it was chosen as a gift, used to sweeten the breath, to be given to brides during wedding ceremonies, then shared by the two spouses. For all this. , the quince has been defined as ‘fruit of love’ and associated with Aphrodite – continues Minelli – Among other things, the popular tradition wants that the deposit of the fruit in a clean linen drawer allows to give it perfume and freshness.. The quince is a hard and tangy fruit, a sort of hybrid between the apple and the pear, not to be eaten raw because it is very astringent. It should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place. And it should never be combined with other fruits and vegetables as it may absorb their smells and scents. The pulp, once cut, tends to blacken quickly, so to delay oxidation it will always be advisable to immerse it in a container containing water and lemon”.

The quince is the fruit of the quince, belonging to the Rosaceae family. The origins of this tree, considered one of the oldest, are in the Middle East, in the region of the Caspian Sea. Its cultivation in our country is now not widespread, limited to certain regions with a milder climate such as Puglia or Sicily, although there are also quince plantations in other regions such as, for example, Lombardy.

In terms of beneficial characteristics, nutritionist biologist Ilaria Vergallo he reminded

that quince is rich in water and fiber, including pectin, an essential soluble fiber useful for protecting the cardiovascular system and capable of lowering blood cholesterol levels, while keeping blood sugar levels at bay. A strategic role in the fight against intestinal diseases is played by the malic acid contained in the fruit, which has recognized antioxidant functions. Finally, reminds Dr. Vergallo, quince is useful to fight against gastric reflux and to fight against Helicobacter Pilory infection.

But when we talk about quince there is not only health in the middle, there is also and above all taste, and so we come to quince, a typical dessert of the southern tradition, made up of water, sugar and of quince, with a compact consistency, usually prepared in the fall but which can be enjoyed all year round, usually served in small squares.

Alessandro ProvenzanoOwner of Alda srl, talked about the production of quality quinces in the preparation of desserts. “We try to valorize the raw materials of the territory and, in the production phase, we cook at low temperature and under vacuum. Several years ago we felt the need for a sourdough product that was part of the great traditions Obviously – he added – since the panettone comes from the Milanese tradition, we have replaced raisins and candied fruit with pieces of quince from Lecce. very fine dark chocolate.

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