The quince tree (Cydonia oblonga) fruits are a hard and astringent with a fragrant odor and taste. Too hard to eat raw, quince fruit soften cooking, which makes delicious jellies and preserves. Quince fruits ripen in mid to late fall. This relative to the pear and apple is ideal to Mediterranean climates and is hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9.
Leave the quince fruit to the tree till the exterior of the fruit turns from light green to yellow. Harvest it as it reaches this color.
Choose quince carefully, so you don’t bruise, damage or drop the fruit. Put it in a box for transfer. Damaged quinces deteriorate quickly and will not store well.
Put quinces on trays so the fruits aren’t touching each other and set the trays in a dark, cool place for six to eight weeks before use. Shop quinces away from apples.