But squash does not grow in our garden. We've tried and tried, winter and summer squash. The little plants get powdery mildew, shrivel up and die shortly after we transplant them.
I swore I'd never grow squash ever again--or at least not while I lived here in the PNW. Then Wing Nut brought home four little plants that looked an awful lot like squash plants. "They have a French name," she said. So of course they were allowed into the garden. After a visit with my friend google.fr I learned that this particular type of squash has been grown in the Far East since ancient times, in China and in particular on Japan's second largest island, Hokkaidō. But they are much beloved in French cuisine.
So we planted them. And I tried not to get my hopes up. And within days of planting them the first little plant began to shrivel up. And then it was dead. it didn't even last long enough to get powdery mildew!
Today as I was out in the garden, in my shorts, sandals, socks and Viking rain gear (see previous post), I saw a little round something hiding among the squash leaves. It looked suspiciously like... but it couldn't possible be...
Yes it is! it's a squash! A very special little squash. It's a POTIMARON!!! And if we're very very lucky it will grow up to look like this. Right now it's teeny tiny. But it's healthy and growing.
Their name comes from the French potiron (squash) and marron (chestnut). This cucurbita has a very unique nutty flavor. This is the squash to feed to people who claim they hate squash. It can be stored for up to twelve months. The longer it is stored, the higher its sugar and vitamin content. It can be used in tarts, tortes, soufflés, gnochis, flans, breads and of course soups. Here in the US they are known as Hokkaido squash. Other names include Chestnut pumpkin, Kuri pumpkin and red-skinned Kabocha. In the UK The Potimarron Project has pledged itself to work towards ending world hunger. There is a Pumpkins For The People Revolution going on! Anyone out there participating in the revolution?