The “golden apples” from Greece have a high nutritional value

The quince, known to the ancient Greeks as the “golden apples”. Credit: Frédérique Voisin-Demery / Wikimedia Commons

The ancient Greeks called the quince “the golden apple”; this fruit, which has a high nutritional value and medicinal qualities, also symbolized love in ancient times.

December is the month of the quince, a season in Greece when the yellow fruit that resembles something between an apple and a pear is at its peak and is ideal for use in sweet recipes.

When eaten raw, it is dry and has a sour or bitter taste. In general, it is cooked, and if cooked with the right ingredients, it can be used in delicious candies and a range of other dishes.

Grecian Delight supports Greece

Most importantly, this “golden apple” has important medicinal qualities and high nutritional value, which makes it an important part of the diet.

Quince grows wild in Mediterranean countries and its season is considered the end of autumn.

The quince in mythology and tradition

The quince, native to the Caucasus, eventually made its way to ancient Greece, where the fruit first appeared in Cydonia (Κυδωνία) in northern Crete, in present-day Chania, from where it derives its name.

It is commonly believed that the quince even predates the apple, and some believe that many references to “apples” in ancient times actually meant the quince – including the story of the apple that Eve gave to Adam. .

The ancient Greeks called them “melimilon”; 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 associated it closely with fertility, gave it a prominent place in weddings, where it was offered as a gift; the bride also used them to freshen her breath before the ceremony.

In parts of northern Greece in the distant past, the groom’s family accompanied him to church carrying a pole with quinces, pomegranates and apples attached.

Additionally, the bride was supposed to chew a quince during the ceremony to make sure the couple would have a baby boy.

Greek tradition also dictates that if you see a quince in your dreams, you will have happiness and peace in your home.

Nutritional value

So many repeated references to quince in ancient times were not accidental, as 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 and C. It also contains a large amount of fiber, while among its nutrients are phosphorus and iron.

Quince is also rich in tannins which have a strong antioxidant effect, while it provides 60 calories per 100 grams.

A “golden apple” a day keeps the doctor away

The benefits of quince are numerous, so it is healthy to add it to your diet as often as possible.

It has a high content of pectin (soluble fiber), which helps control blood cholesterol levels and prevents constipation, thus helping those trying to lose weight.

Pectin is also important for people with type 2 diabetes because it slows the absorption of sugar, stabilizing its levels in the blood.

The high vitamin C content (an average fruit provides about 1/3 of the recommended daily vitamin intake) also stimulates the immune system.

However, the high dose of vitamin C only comes when we consume the raw quince. After cooking, much of the vitamin is lost.

Their high potassium content is also good for the heart, and research shows that a diet high in potassium protects us from heart disease, while reducing the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Quinces contain antioxidants which are good in the diet because they fight against the agents that damage cells and make people prone to serious diseases such as cancer. At the same time, the antioxidants contained in quince also have anti-aging properties.

Quince-based wine is also considered to be very beneficial for asthmatics.

Raw quince can also be used against diarrhea and according to studies it also has antiviral properties, which mainly result from substances present in the skin of the fruit.

Other important properties of quince include soothing an irritated stomach and improving digestive function; its juice, with the pulp of a roasted or boiled quince, can be used as an antiemetic treatment.

Quince contains cuprum, which has multiple beneficial effects on the body as it reduces tissue damage, supports bone and nerve health, and supports thyroid gland function, reducing fatigue and weakness.

Finally, their supporters believe that frequent consumption of quinces facilitates the proper functioning of our kidneys and our liver.