quince Cydonia oblonga, a relative of the apple and pear, originated, as they did, in the Caucasus, where small, twisted quince trees still grow wild. The most usual type of quince resembles a large, lumpy, yellow pear. It has hard flesh and many pips and is too sour and astringent to eat raw; but it has a delicious fragrance and when cooked with adequate sweetening develops a fine flavour and turns pink. There are also round varieties. Quinces are nearly always used for cooking. However, a few are mild and sweet enough to eat raw; these include some new varieties being developed in the 1990s, e.g. one referred to as ‘apple quince’.