Like its apple and pear relatives, the quince tree (Cydonia oblonga) originated in Central Asia. The fruit resemble very firm, bright green, short-necked pears. Quince is known for its distinctive floral aroma, but the raw fruit is rarely eaten because it is astringent, sour and gritty, even when ripe. Quince is suitable for many cooked preparations and will turn reddish-pink when cooked. Membrillo, a firm paste made of cooked quince, is a traditional accompaniment to Spanish Manchego cheese. Quince can also be used for jams and jellies, as in the Portuguese quince jam known as marmalada. A few quince slices added to apple pie lend a fragrant, perfumed flavor. Look for quince from September through November.

Quinces are a very good source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that supports both immune system and cardiovascular health.

Pick quinces that are full-yellow and firm. Quinces must be handled carefully, as they bruise easily.

In Season

September, October, November

Recipes with Quince

Apple Quince Cherry Strudel

Amy Pearce, Millennium

Seared Artisan Foie Gras with Apple and Quince

Ken Frank, La Toque.

Chicken Liver Mousse with Quince Jam

Paul Piscopo, XYZ Restaurant.

Articles about Quince

July 25, 2014

The Great Tomato Debate

Confused by terms like heirloom, open-pollinated, hybrid, and GMO? We’ll help you sort them out.

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.

July 09, 2014

A Fond Farewell from Critical Edge Knife Sharpening

Bob Kattenburg retires after 19 years as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s knife sharpener.

July 04, 2014

On the Farm at Marin Roots

Take a behind-the-scenes look at organic veggie growing with the young farmers at Marin Roots Farm.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »