Bihi Dana Beyond The Pear: Understanding Quince And Its Uses
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Quince is a delicious and aromatic fruit that has a bright golden colour that sometimes also appears as bright yellow. The shape of the fruit is very similar to that of a pear. The texture of the fruit is very tarty and hard. In India, the fruit is popularly known as Bihi Dana and is popular because of its nutritional benefits, as it is high in ascorbic acids, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.

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Quince is considered a part of the Apple family but is not as abundantly grown as apples or pears. In terms of taste, quinces have a citrusy touch but are not as striking as lemons. The simplest way to describe the flavour and texture of a quince is to think of a tart and a citrusy version of an apple. 

Culinary Uses Of Quince

Typically, the best season to get the most scrumptious variety of Quince is autumn. It can be the most delicious addition to different types of autumn dishes, as not only does it have an appetising taste, but it also has an aroma that is going to attract people from a considerable distance. Here are some of the top culinary uses of quince.

* Quince Jam

Quince jam is certainly a very interesting concept, as the jam has a very tart flavour. This is made by using some diced pieces of quince and taking some melted sugar in equal parts. Both of these ingredients are cooked over low heat. One can add a little bit of lemon juice to the mixture so that it has the best possible taste. The jam will naturally have a very long shelf life. So there is no need to add any preservatives.

* Quince Chutney

One can certainly elevate the natural flavour of their quince chutney by pairing it with different types of spices and other ingredients, such as cheese and snacks. The wonderful chutney is made by combining quince, onions, apples, cider, vinegar, dates, brown sugar, and spices like cumin seed powder. All of these ingredients are ground properly and kept to rest before being added to sterilised jars. The chutney naturally has a considerable shelf life and can be stored for at least six months.

* Quince And Apple Crumble

Quince and apple crumble is a dish that everyone must try. Quince and apple have a very similar taste and texture. Adding a bit of quince to apple pie or tart can give it the needed citrusy kick and preserve the conventional taste of the apple pie. One can add a lot of sugar and cinnamon powder to the crumble to give it the best possible flavour. Generally, people like to make apple and raspberry crumble. This recipe can be easily replaced with quince and apple crumble.

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Where Does Quince Grow?

Quince is generally cultivated on continents that have a warm temperature throughout the year. During the flowering period, it requires a temperature under 7°C for proper flowering. This means quince is not a plant that can sustain itself all by itself and requires proper care and temperature control. In India, it is only grown in areas like Jammu Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This is the reason why it is not a very popular fruit in India since its cultivation is very limited as of now.

Quince is abundantly grown in different parts of the world, like Latin American countries, China, Turkey, Iran, the United States of America and various Caribbean countries. Quince is native to countries like Iran, Iraq, and even Greece. Currently, Turkey is the largest producer of the fruit, followed by China, Iran, and Morocco. The fruit is extremely popular in Chile, where it is used to make different types of desserts. 

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 Health Benefits Of Quince

As per the study published in the National Library of Medicine in 2022, quince has various therapeutic effects because it is high in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects on the body. The best way to utilise its health benefits to the fullest is by eating it in its natural form. The high level of processing by various companies to make jams and dishes made from quinces kills the nutritional value of the fruit.

This fruit is also quite low in calories and can also help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body. A person suffering from the problem of stomach inflammation can also try consuming this fruit, as it may be helpful.