Quince is a fruit that is similar to pears and apples that comes from a tree. It is soft and fuzzy, and resembles a fat pear. It was once used extensively in the culinary world, and has recently become popular again. It is also used for decorating and for fragrance uses. There are some key things to keep in mind when harvesting quince, such as picking it before it ripens and keeping it in a proper area for it to grow ripe.
Pick quince from the tree in the fall, when the fruit changes from a dark to light green color. Most quinces don't ripen on the tree. They need to be ripened in cooler storage. Once a quince is completely ripe and matured, it will be all yellow.
Use a sharp pair of pruning scissors to clip off the stems connecting to quince to the tree. Do this with care, since quince easily bruises. When you pick the fruit, choose ones that are firm, larger and light green or most ideally, beginning to yellow. Avoid quince that are bruised, soft or shriveled.
Put the quince in a dry cool area. Make sure it is out of direct sunlight. Check on the fruit a couple times a day, turning it. For light green quince, put the fruit in a container or plastic bag. Keep it in a cool place for 1 to 2 months.
Store ripened (yellow) quince in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but it is best to use it sooner then later. Wrap the quince in paper towels to store, and keep separate from pears and apples as the aroma affects other fruits.
Use quince as a fixture to other dishes, as they can be too tart to eat raw. Use them in baking, like pies, crisps or cobblers. You can also use them in ethnic cooking, such as Iranian and Moroccan, and quince is ideal in jams, jellies and marmalades. Quince can be used in decor too--wreaths, potpourris and floral arrangements.