Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Pumpkin

Can you help? I bought this pumpkin at the local farmers market. It was a last minute purchase as I was leaving. Its wonderful pale colour attracted my attention. My husband, already weighed down with bags volunteered to carry it and it was very heavy. When I asked what it's name I was told it was a pale green kabocha. But, I'm pretty sure they're wrong.


The family of kabocha, which includes  Hubbard and Orange Hokkaido are pear-shaped not the traditional pumpkin-shape. I think it might be Valenciano. Does anyone know? Whatever it's called it is a wonderfully dry and firm fleshed pumpkin. Now dry might sound derogatory but with pumpkin it isn't, often pumpkin is watery and tasteless. The French potimarron, a orange kabocha pumpkin has dry flesh and a chestnut flavour, indicated by it's French name. It's  problem is a large cavity full of seeds so there is not a lot of flesh. My mystery pumpkin was full of flesh.


So far I've made wonderful soup, a delicious spicy pumpkin from India: The Cookbook (page 289) twice. Of course I changed it. I didn't mash the pumpkin and the second time I added some tamarind, in my opinion the sourness improved the flavour. I also succeeded in making delicious pumpkin gnocchi because the flesh was dry. I 'm now down to my last piece, which I think I'll roast.  I'm on the hunt for another one.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why not a roast pumpkin, lentil, chevre salad with a hot bacon vinaigrette? M&N

Jennifer said...

Sounds delicious, you hooked me with the bacon dressing.

TC said...

Having lived in Japan and having a Japanese wife, I've never seen a pale green Kabocha. It has to be something else.

Jennifer said...

Glad you agree with me. I am still sticking with Valenciano, but I was sent this link http://www.yates.co.nz/products/seeds/vegetables/pumpkin-whanga-crown/
Perhaps it is the same pumpkin with another name?

Malcolm Loades said...

In the UK it's a Crown Prince Squash - photo here http://www.flickr.com/photos/fluffymuppet/242938082/

I have one which will be used tomorrow to make Squash and Butter Bean Soup.

Malcolm

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the link Malcolm. Does your pumpkin look the same as mine on the inside?

Anonymous said...

These are the pumpkins i get all the time in NZ they are called Crown pumpkins and have the same inside as yours, we have had them growing out of our compost from the seeds we chucked out. In season you can pick them up for $.99c! Real bargain!

Jennifer said...

Lucky you!If I lived closer I'd be poking about in your compost. What's your favourite way to cook them?

Amber said...

Hi Jennifer - this looks like the Jarradale pumpkin that we sell the seed for at Urban Harvest in Toronto. It is an Australian heirloom!
http://bit.ly/isbA4v

Jennifer said...

Thanks Amber it seems to be a popular pumpkin in the Antipodes. I have no place to grow my own pumpkin. Do you only sell seeds or plants and produce as well?

Unknown said...

It is not a Jarradale, as it does not have any ribs and is not flat enough. It definitely looks like a Crown pumpkin. Lucky you.

I'm trying to hunt down some seeds or actual pumpkins in the States to eat or grown them (and eat!)as they are the best for roasting. The dry flesh caramelizes wonderfully and holds it shape. All the other pumpkin types I have tried get too wet with the roasting method and I do miss a good roast pumpkin.

Jennifer said...

I'm not sure I'll ever solve this pumpkin puzzle. Good luck sourcing those seeds. You are right you need a good dry pumpkin to roast. I prefer dry pumpkins in general so much more flavour. With many you just have wet, mushy flesh. I'll be back in Paris next month and am looking forward to cooking with potimarron.

Nick K. said...

We have a pumpkin that looks exactly like yours, and we have been searching for its identity as well. We're thinking it might be a Blue Lakota.

Anonymous said...

You may have solved this by now, but I also think it is a Crown, Cucurbita maxima. The large seeds, bluish color, slight ribbing, flesh color, and stem size all match crown. If you search "crown pumpkin images" I think you will find your dear friend. Best, Anna

Jennifer said...

Thanks for you suggestion Anna. I am not sure I really solved it. Pumpkins have lots of different names and varieties vary from country to country. I will check out crown pumkins.

Post a Comment