THE GREEN MONSTER

No, not talking about the notorious green wall at Fenway Park… Finally got around to opening one of thechilacayote squashes. The flesh as you can see is white with a hint of melon aroma. The taste?  Well, not much to speak of — bland really. There aren’t many recipes on the internet for this squash, so eating them is going to be quite an adventure.

Chilacayote
From browsing the internet it looks like the chilacayote squash is used more like a dessert squash to be candied. It’s used to make a dessert in Latin American countries calledcabellos de ángel: a sweet made from the filamentous pulp of the chilacayote squash. {See Recipe }

Here’s a little history on this unusual member of the cucurbit family: Note, I wouldhave linked to the page, but the writing is in YELLOW and unable to read – go figure! Anyhow, I’ve copied and pasted…

Page 206 LOST CROPS OF THE INCAS – Indians in the Andes commonly grow this “import” from Mexico. In fact, this squash (Cucurbita pcifolia’6 has become so popular in the Andes that it is grown more frequently there than in its native land.7 Today, it occurs from central Mexico through the high plateaus of Central America and along the highlands of the Andes as far south as central Chile. So far, it is little known elsewhere. This species is another cool-climate (but not frost-tolerant) member of the genus Cucurbita and is the only perennial among commercial cucurbits. It is pest resistant and short-day flowering. In some places, the rampant, irrepressible vine runs wild, climbing trees and shrouding shrubs with its figlike leaves. Its elongated or globe-shaped fruits may weigh 11 kg (even when not grown under forcing conditions) and are white, green, or white and green striped. It has white flesh and is the only squash with black seeds (a white-seeded race also exists). Cultivated extensively in the Andean highlands mostly at 1,000- 2,000 m elevations—the young fruits are used like zucchini. The mature fruits are prized especially for desserts, usually cooked and served in sweet syrup. They are also fed to domestic animals (horses, cattle, and sheep) during the dry season. No fruit anywhere keeps as well as these. Mature, they are commonly stored (kept dry, but without any other special care) for two years, and yet their flesh remains fresh and actually gets sweeter with age. They are eaten boiled or in preserves. Immature ones can pass for zucchini in looks and in recipes. Especially delicious and nutritious is a pudding made by simmering this squash with milk and cinnamon. The seeds are baked and eaten like peanuts and are greatly appreciated. They have an unusually high concentration of oleic acid, the prime ingredient in olive oil.

The chilacayote plant is still continuing to grow (and grow and grow) along the fence line and now is setting fruit AGAIN!It’s quite a green monster and has to be controlled or if left to its own power would completely swallow everything in its path.

Weather Report: Cool.

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