Friday, March 02, 2012
Potimarron and Potimarron Jeune
A few years ago we were filling some boxes of mixed summer squash for a restaurant customer. We didn't have quite enough, so we started tasting the immature winter squash, to see if any of them could fill in, in a pinch.
One of the winter squash varieties we were growing, Potimarron, did more than just fill in. It was better than any of the zucchini and patty pan already in the boxes. The flavor is clean, without bitterness, and the squash can be eaten like apples. On the other hand, there is a depth of flavor that standard summer squash do not have. Finally, the flesh is fine grained and dense, so squash can be grilled, souped and steamed. Light cooking is fine, because there is no bitterness to vanquish.
Over time, we have pretty much stopped growing summer squash. Instead, we harvest young Potimarron (Potimarron Jeune), and sell it as summer squash.
Potimarron, is also one of the main winter squash we sell. It is unparalleled for use in soups, and the soft orange skin can be pureed into the soup -- no peeling necessary. In fact, the skin is where much of the chestnut flavor is located.
People seem to be catching on to this squash. Last month, when we went to order seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, they did not have any bulk packages left. We were forced to buy lots of individual seed packets. So, if you want to try this variety this year, you may want to order seeds today.