Winter squash is an annual fruit representing several squash species within the genus Cucurbita. It differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage when the seeds within have matured and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. At this stage, most varieties of this fruit can be stored for use during the winter. Winter squash is cooked before being eaten, the skin or rind is not eaten as it is with summer squash. In New Zealand and Australian English, the term "pumpkin" refers to the broader category called "winter squash". Squash is a frost-tender plant meaning. Winter squash seeds germinate best when the soil temperature is 21 to 35 °C, the warmer end of the range is optimal, it is harvested whenever the fruit has turned a deep, solid color and the skin is hard. Most winter squash is harvested in September or October in the Northern Hemisphere, before the danger of heavy frosts. Winter squash is a low-calorie food and a good source of complex vegetable carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
It is an excellent source of vitamin A, a great source of vitamin C, dietary fiber and manganese, a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, tryptophan, vitamin B6, vitamin B3 and vitamin B5. It is a source of iron and beta-carotene; the darker the skin is, the higher the beta-carotene content. Cucurbita maxima Ambercup squash Arikara squash Atlantic Giant Banana squash Buttercup squash Georgia candy roaster Hubbard squash Jarrahdale pumpkin Kabocha - "Hokkaido squash" Lakota squash Mooregold squash Red kuri squash - called "orange Hokkaido squash" or "baby red Hubbard squash" Turban squashCucurbita argyrosperma Cushaw squash Cucurbita moschata Butternut squash Dickinson pumpkin Long Island cheese pumpkin Fairytale pumpkin squash or Musquee de Provence Kent pumpkinCucurbita pepo Acorn squash Carnival squash Delicata squash Field pumpkin Heart of gold squash Spaghetti squash Sweet dumpling squash Autumn cup squash Calabaza Giraumon Gold nugget squash Sugar loaf squash List of squash and pumpkin dishes Sorting Cucurbita names
Cucurbita andreana is a plant species of the genus Cucurbita, since 1982 in the rank of a C. maxima subspecies, C. maxima subsp. Andreana, the wild relative of C. maxima subsp. Maxima cultivated subspecies, it is native to Uruguay. C. andreana fruits are smaller and not palatable, those of C. maxima are palatable. The species Cucurbita maxima originated in South America from wild C. andreana over 4,000 years ago. The two species hybridize quite but have noticeably different calcium levels. C. andreana has bright green striped fruit. It prefers full sun and well drained soil. Extrafloral nectaries are present in C. maxima but not in C. andreana. The species was formally described in Revue Horticole. Cucurbita andreana at the Encyclopedia of Life
Cucurbita ficifolia is a species of squash, grown for its edible seeds and greens. It has many common names in English such as the fig-leaf gourd, Malabar gourd, black seed squash, cidra. Although it is related to other squashes in its genus, such as the pumpkin, it shows considerable biochemical difference from them and does not hybridize with them. Black-seed squash cidra fig-leaf gourd figleaf gourd fig-leaved gourd Malabar gourd pie melon sidra Thai marrow Abóbora-chila or abóbora gila Alcayota Black seeded melon, written as kurodane cabocha, 黒種南瓜 and フィシフォリア Cabell d'Àngel Calabaza de cabello de ángel Cayote Chiberre Chiverre Chilacayote, Chilacayotl or Tzilacayote Courge à choucroute de cheveux d'ange Courge de Siam Lacayote Mboga ya kimasai shark fin melon, written as 鱼翅瓜 in Mandarin Calabaza Zambo Zucca del Siam or Zucca del Malabar Like most members of the genus Cucurbita, C. ficifolia is a climbing vine, an annual in temperate climates and a perennial in tropical zones. Unlike some other Cucurbita species, it does not have swollen storage roots.
The plant stem can grow five to fifteen meters and produces tendrils that help it climb adjacent plants and structures. It may root unlike most other curcubits; the vine can become semiwoody if left to grow perennially, although most commercial plants are annual. Its leaves resemble fig leaves, hence its most common name in English – fig-leaf gourd – and its Latin species name; the fruit is oblong, with wide black seeds. In stark contrast to other Cucurbita, its fruit is uniform in size and color; the plant is monoecious with imperfect flowers and are pollinated by insects bees. The color of the flowers is yellow to orange; the fruit is oblong with a diameter of eight inches or 20 centimeters, weighs eleven to 13 pounds, can produce up to 500 seeds. Its skin can vary from dark green to cream. One plant can produce over 50 fruit; the fruit can last without decomposing for several years. It is native to the Americas. Linguistic evidence suggests Mexico, because of the wide use of names based on the Nahuatl name "chilacayohtli" as far south as Argentina.
However, archaeological evidence suggests Peru. Biosystematics has been unable to confirm either hypothesis. Archeological records show that it was the most widespread variety of Cucurbita in the Americas, cultivated from northern Chile and Argentina to Mexico. Now it is grown as far north as southern California. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Europeans introduced it to the Mediterranean regions of Europe as well as India. From there it picked up more names; the fig-leaved gourd grows in temperate highlands at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It is used as a grafting rootstock for other less resistant cucurbits. C. ficifolia can be propagated by layering. Tendrils can grow into roots if anchored into the soil, can propagate new plants once cut, which can be moved to new sites; because it is not resistant to frost, it is planted after this risk has passed. Established plants, however can withstand short overnight frosts; the flowers and tender shoots are used in Mexico and other countries as greens.
The most nutritional part of Cucurbita ficifolia is its fat- and protein-rich seeds, which can vary in color from white to black. They are used in Mexico to make a sweet similar to peanut brittle; the fruit has several uses as food. The immature fruit is eaten cooked, while the mature fruit is sweet and used to make confectionery and beverages, sometimes alcoholic; the fruit is low in beta-carotene, as can be seen from its white flesh, is low in vitamins and minerals, moderately high in carbohydrates. In Europe: In Spain this squash is used to make a jam known as "cabello de ángel", "cabell d'àngel" in Catalan, used to fill pies and confectionery. In Portugal, where the fruit is known as "chila" or "gila", it is still used extensively in the production of traditional Portuguese sweets and confectionery. In Latin America: In Chile and Argentina, jam is made out of the fruit of "alcayota" or "cayote". In Costa Rica, it is traditional to make empanadas stuffed with sugared "chiverre" filling at Easter time.
In Asia, the pulp strands are used to make soup, quite similar to shark fin soup, hence the name "shark's fin melon". The cultivation and this usage feature in the film Grow Your Own. Across Asia, eating this melon is said to help people with diabetes. Several scientific studies have confirmed its hypoglycemic effect, it is used to treat diabetes due to its high D-Chiro-Inositol content. The vine and fruit are used for fodder; because of its ability to keep for a long time, the ripe fruit was taken on voyages on ships, used for food for livestock on board. Acosta-Patiño, J. L.. A.. C.. "Hypoglycemic action of Cucurbita ficifolia on Type 2 diabetic patients with moderately high blood glucose levels". Journal
Curing (food preservation)
Curing is any of various food preservation and flavoring processes of foods such as meat and vegetables, by the addition of salt with the aim of drawing moisture out of the food by the process of osmosis. Because curing increases the solute concentration in the food and hence decreases its water potential, the food becomes inhospitable for the microbe growth that causes food spoilage. Curing can be traced back to antiquity, was the primary way of preserving meat and fish until the late-19th century. Dehydration was the earliest form of food curing. Many curing processes involve smoking, cooking, or the addition of combinations of sugar, nitrite. Meat preservation in general comprises the set of all treatment processes for preserving the properties, taste and color of raw cooked, or cooked meats while keeping them edible and safe to consume. Curing has been the dominant method of meat preservation for thousands of years, although modern developments like refrigeration and synthetic preservatives have begun to complement and supplant it.
While meat-preservation processes like curing were developed in order to prevent disease and to increase food security, the advent of modern preservation methods mean that in most developed countries today curing is instead practised for its cultural value and desirable impact on the texture and taste of food. For lesser-developed countries, curing remains a key process in the production and availability of meat; some traditional cured meat are cured with salt alone. Today, potassium nitrate and sodium nitrite are the most common agents in curing meat, because they bond to the myoglobin and act as a substitute for the oxygen, thus turning myoglobin red. More recent evidence shows that these chemicals inhibit the growth of the bacteria that cause the disease botulism; the combination of table salt with nitrates or nitrites, called curing salt, is dyed pink to distinguish it from table salt. Neither table salt, nor any of the nitrites or nitrates used in curing is pink. Untreated meat decomposes if it is not preserved, at a speed that depends on several factors, including ambient humidity and the presence of pathogens.
Most meats cannot be kept at room temperature in excess of a few days without spoiling. If kept in excess of this time, meat begins to change color and exude a foul odor, indicating the decomposition of the food. Ingestion of such spoiled meat can cause serious food poisonings, like botulism. Salt-curing processes have been developed since antiquity in order to ensure food safety without relying on artificial anti-bacterial agents. While the short shelf life of fresh meat does not pose a significant problem when access to it is easy and supply is abundant, in times of scarcity and famine, or when the meat must be carried over long voyages, it spoils quickly. In such circumstances the usefulness of preserving foods containing nutritional value for transport and storage is obvious. Curing can extend the life of meat before it spoils, by making it inhospitable to the growth of spoilage microbes. A survival technique since prehistory, the preservation of meat has become, over the centuries, a topic of political and social importance worldwide.
Food curing dates back both in the form of smoked meat and salt-cured meat. Several sources describe the salting of meat in the ancient Mediterranean world. Diodore of Sicily in his Bibliotheca historica wrote that the Cosséens in the mountains of Persia salted the flesh of carnivorous animals. Strabo indicates that people at Borsippa were salting them to eat; the ancient Greeks prepared tarichos, meat and fish conserved by salt or other means. The Romans called this dish salsamentum – which term included salted fat, the sauces and spices used for its preparation. Evidence of ancient sausage production exists; the Roman gourmet Apicius speaks of a sausage-making technique involving œnogaros. Preserved meats were furthermore a part of religious traditions: resulting meat for offerings to the gods was salted before being given to priests, after which it could be picked up again by the offerer, or sold in the butcher's. A trade in salt meat occurred across ancient Europe. In Polybius's time, the Gauls exported salt pork each year to Rome in large quantities, where it was sold in different cuts: rear cuts, middle cuts and sausages.
This meat, after having been salted with the greatest care, was sometime smoked. These goods had to have been important, since they fed part of the Roman people and the armies; the Belgae were celebrated above all for the care. Their herds of sheep and pigs were so many, they could provide skins and salt meat not only for Rome, but for most of Italy; the Ceretani of Spain drew a large export income from their hams, which were so succulent, they were in no way inferior to those of Cantabria. These tarichos of pig would become sought, to the point that the ancients considered this meat the most nourishing of all and the easiest to digest. In Ethiopia, according to Pliny, in Libya according to Saint Jerome, the Acridophages salted and smoked the crickets which arrived at their settlements in the spring in great swarms and which constituted, it was said, their sole food; the smoking of meat was a traditional practice in No
Pumpkin soup is a usually'bound' soup made from a puree of pumpkin. It is made by combining the meat of a blended pumpkin with stock, it can be served hot or cold, is a popular Thanksgiving dish in the United States. Various versions of the dish are known in many European countries, the United States and other areas of North America, in Australia. Pumpkin soup was a staple for the prisoners of war in North Vietnamese prison camps during the Vietnam War. Squash soup is a soup prepared using squash as a primary ingredient. Squash used to prepare the soup including: butternut squash and pumpkin. Squash, separately roasted can be used in soup preparation; the roasting of squash can serve to concentrate the gourd's flavor. Squash soup can be prepared with chunks or pieces of squash and with puréed squash. Pre-cooked, frozen squash can be used, as can commercially prepared packets of pre-cooked frozen squash purée. Butternut squash soup may have a sweet flavor, due to the sugars present in the squash. Additional basic ingredients in squash soup's preparation can include broth, cream, spices such as sage and thyme and pepper.
Pumpkin soup can be served hot or cold, is a popular Thanksgiving dish in the United States. Pumpkin "pies" made by early American colonists had more similarities to being a savory soup served in a pumpkin than a sweet custard in a crust. Pumpkin soup was a staple for the prisoners of war in North Vietnamese prison camps during the Vietnam War. Squash soup is a soup in African cuisine, it is a part of the cuisine of Northern Africa, the cuisines of Mozambique and Namibia, both of which are located in Southern Africa. Squash soup is served in other countries and is a part of other cuisines. Soup Joumou is traditionally consumed in Haiti on New Year's Day, as a historical tribute to Haitian independence in 1804. List of African dishes List of squash and pumpkin dishes List of soups Stuffed squash Rombauer, I. S.. R.. JOC All New Rev. - 1997. Scribner. P. 94. ISBN 978-0-684-81870-2
Cucurbita pepo is a cultivated plant of the genus Cucurbita. It yields varieties of winter squash and pumpkin, but the most widespread varieties belong to the subspecies Cucurbita pepo subsp. Pepo, called summer squash, it has been domesticated in the New World for thousands of years. Some authors maintain that C. pepo is derived from C. texana, while others suggest that C. texana is feral C. pepo. They have a wide variety of uses as a food source and for medical conditions. C. pepo seems more related to C. fraterna, though disagreements exist about the exact nature of that connection, too. The morphological differences within the species C. pepo are so vast, its various subspecies and cultivars have been misidentified as separate species. These vast differences are rooted in its widespread geographic distribution. C. pepo is one of the oldest, if not the oldest domesticated species. The oldest known locations are in southern Mexico in Oaxaca 8,000-10,000 years ago and Ocampo, Mexico about 7,000 years ago.
Its ancient territory extended north into Texas and up the Greater Mississippi River Valley into Illinois and east to Florida, even to Maine. It is known to have appeared in Missouri at least 4,000 years ago; some varieties grow in some in moist regions. Debates about the origin of C. pepo have been going on since at least 1857. Traditionally, two opposing theories are given about its origin: 1) C. pepo is a direct descendant of C. texana and 2) C. texana is feral C. pepo. A more recent theory is that C. pepo hybridized with C. texana. C. pepo may have appeared in the Old World prior to moving from Mexico into South America. It is found from sea level to above 2,000 m. Leaves are 20 -- 35 cm wide. All the subspecies and cultivars are conspecific and interfertile. Random amplified polymorphic DNA has proven useful in sorting out the relationships of the C. pepo species and cultivars, showing that few, if any, modern cultivars have their origins with C. texana. They are associated with a still unknown ancestral specimen in southern Mexico.
Wild C. pepo is still found in the same areas as C. fraterna in Mexico. Their isozymes are similar. C. pepo has more similarities to C. fraterna than it does to C. texana, claimed to be an ancestor of C. pepo. All studied C. fraterna alleles are found in C. pepo. C. fraterna is the nearest relative of C. pepo. C. pepo is most an early domesticated form of C. fraterna. It crosses well with both C. C. texana. Unlike most wild Cucurbita species, some fruit specimens of C. fraterna have been found that were not bitter. Its usual habitat is dry upland scrub areas. C. pepo could be a compilospecies of C. fraterna and C. texana, which appear to be two species that were separate. Based on genetic allele analysis, two distinct groups occur within C. pepo: pumpkin, calabaza and marrow squash are in one. C. fraterna is genetically closer to the first group and C. texana is genetically closer to the second group. Ornamental gourds found in Texas are called var. texana and those found outside of Texas are called var. ozarkana.
In a 1989 study on the origins and development of C. pepo, Paris suggested that the original wild specimen was a small round fruit and that the modern pumpkin is its direct descendant. He suggested that the crookneck, ornamental gourd, scallop are early variants, that the acorn is a cross between the scallop and pumpkin. Several taxa have been proposed. In 2002, the taxa conventions proposed by Decker-Walters were: C. pepo subsp. Pepo - cultivated pumpkins, the orange gourds C. pepo subsp. Ovifera var. ovifera - cultivated crooknecks, acorns, most ornamental gourds C. pepo subsp. Ovifera var. ozarkana - wild populations in the Greater Mississippi Valley and Ozark Plateau C. pepo subsp. Ovifera var. texana - wild populations in Texas C. pepo subsp. Fraterna - wild populations in northeastern MexicoA 2003 study recognized three subspecies: Cucurbita pepo subsp. Fraterna Cucurbita pepo subsp. Pepo Cucurbita pepo subsp. TexanaIn 1986, botanist Paris proposed a taxonomy of C. pepo consisting of eight edible groups based on their basic shape.
All but a few C. pepo cultivars can be included in these groups. These eight edible cultivated varieties of C. pepo vary in shape and color, one inedible cultivated variety: Due to their varied genetic background, members of C. pepo vary in appearance in regards to their fruits. The plants are 1.0-2.5 feet high, 2–3 feet wide, have yellow flowers. Within C. pepo, the pumpkins and crooknecks are ancient and were domesticated separately. The domesticated species have larger yet fewer seeds. Parthenocarpy is known to occur in certain cultivars of C. pepo. C. pepo includes a wide assortment of varieties and cultivars: Acorn squash Delicata squash Dodi marrow, grown in South Asia Gem squash Heart of gold squash Kamo kamo called kumi kumi, an heirloom summer and winter squash grown by the Māori people of New Zealand Several types of ornamental squash Pattypan squash Several types of pumpkin Spaghetti squash Sweet dumpling squash Yellow crookneck squash Yellow summer squash Zucchini known as
Cucurbita argyrosperma the Japanese pie pumpkin or cushaw pumpkin, silver-seed gourd, is a species of winter squash from the south of Mexico. This annual herbaceous plant is cultivated in the Americas for its nutritional value: its flowers and fruits are all harvested, but it is cultivated most of all for its seeds, which are used for sauces, it was known as Cucurbita mixta. It is a Cucurbita species, with pumpkin varieties that are cultivated in the United States as part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex and Mexico south to Nicaragua. Of all the cultivated Cucurbita species it is the least found outside the Americas, it originated in Mesoamerica and its wild ancestor is Cucurbita sororia. It is closely related to Cucurbita kellyana and Cucurbita palmeri; the flowers bloom in July or August. The plant spreads 10 -- 15 feet, it has both male and female flowers. Fruits can weigh up to 20 pounds, it is found in close proximity to Cucurbita moschata. The flowers, stems and unripe fruits of the plant are consumed as vegetables.
In the south of Mexico, the wild, more bitter varieties are used in this same way, once washed and cleaned to eliminate cucurbitin. The ripe fruit is used to feed animals; the seeds yield an edible oil. It is grown in the Sonoran Desert region of the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico by native peoples the Tohono O'odham, where it is prized when immature as a summer squash. Cucurbita argyrosperma has medicinal properties. A liquid emulsion of its seed can act as a vermifuge, the subsequent use of a laxative can effect an expulsion of parasitic worms; the Yucatán peasantry has traditionally used the flesh of Cucurbita argyrosperma to tend burns and eczema, while the seeds have been used with the aim of promoting lactation in nursing women, provide pain relief. Media related to Cucurbita argyrosperma at Wikimedia Commons