Quince Preserves

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

quince preserves are important because in their original forms they were the ancestors of modern jam and marmalade. The various names derive from classical languages. In ancient Greece, quinces were known as apples of Cydonia, mela Kudonia. The French cotignac, Italian cotognata, and Greek kidonopasto, along with the 17th-century English words ‘quidony’ or ‘quidoniac’, can be traced back to this Greek origin. The Portuguese word marmelada (from which the English word marmalade is taken) and the Spanish membrillo derive from Latin melimelum (honey apple, referring to quince or a preserve thereof).