Courtesy ofJeff and Lori Fiorovich, of Crystal Bay Farm, here is the list of culinary pumpkins and squashes that they grew this year, with notes. With the exception of the Marina Di Chioggia photo, all images are from the Fiorovichs. (They won't get much bigger than these thumbnails, though.) Thank you so much, Jeff and Lori.
Long Island Cheese
This old heirloom variety has a smooth, tan skin with medium ribs and a flattened shape that resembles a wheel of cheese. The flesh is a deep orange color that is moderately sweet and great for pies. Good for long-term storage.
Decorative, gray, ribbed fruits.Fairly large, avg. 6-10 lb., drum-shaped fruit with heavy, rounded ribs and slate gray skin. Medium-sweet, thick orange flesh of good quality. Long storage. An appealing squash for fall decorative use. Stores well. An Australian native, it is a favorite of U.S. amateur seed savers.
Description: Snow white skin. Clearly the whitest pumpkin, great for painting. Medium-size, flattened, avg. 11-15" diameter x 6-8" tall, slightly ribbed, with a smooth white skin. Thick orange flesh suitable for pies.
Lumina (pictured, right, as Jack-o-Lantern)
Description: The best white pumpkin. The fruit average 10-15 lbs., vary in size, and are a globe to a flattened globe shape. The flesh is a bright orange and these beauties add excellent contrast for carving and painting,
Marina Di Chioggia (links to my photo album)
Description: Blistery, bubbled, slate blue-green rind. Avg. 6-12 lb. bumpy squashes make a wild yet subdued ornamental statement for fall. Amy Goldman, in her new book, The Compleat Squash, describes this Italian seaside specialty as deliziosa, especially for gnocchi and ravioli, and a culinary revelation. The heirloom sea pumpkin of Chioggia, on the coast of Italy, The large turban shaped fruit are deep blue-green. It is one of the most beautiful and unique of all squash. The rich, sweet flesh is a deep yellow-orange and of good quality, delicious baked or in pies.
Description: Delicious "pumpkin nuts," striped fruits. These eye-catching, medium-small, avg. 5-8 lb., black-striped pumpkins have been a hit with visitors to Johnny's farm. After displaying the pumpkins in the fall you can scoop out the large, dark green, completely hull-less seeds which are absolutely delicious roasted. Kakai is a variety of the Austrian type that yields the valuable green pumpkin seed oil which some European studies show promote prostate health.
Rouge vif D'Etampes
Description: The bright red French pumpkin. "Rouge vif" means "vivid red." Shaped flat, looking like a red cheese wheel, The moderately sweet, orange flesh is suited for pumpkin or squash pie. Also known as Cinderella. Most beautiful flattened and ribbed large fruit are a gorgeous deep red-orange. A very old French Heirloom, this was the most common pumpkin in the Central Market in Paris back in the 1880’s. The flesh is tasty in pies or baked. This one can also be picked small, like summer squash, and fried.
Description: Multicolor Sweet Dumpling. About 1-1/2 times the size of Sweet Dumpling, with colorful patches and flecks of dark green, light green, orange, and yellow. Semibush plants. Hot weather promotes more green tones and less yellow/orange. Carnival is the most unique acorn you can grow. Its unusual color pattern makes a terrific display item for fall sales and its eating quality ranks among the very best. The fruit will store in fine condition for many months.
Description: Sweet, single-serving size. Small, 4" diameter, teacup-shaped fruits. It has the ivory color and dark green stripes of Delicata, but in a round, flat-topped shape and dainty, single-serving size. Very sweet, tender orange flesh. Suitable for stuffing. Requires no curing; stores 3-4 months. One of the sweetest of all! The sweet, tender orange flesh makes this variety the favorite of many.
Description: Specialty squash. An Australian variety introduced to the U.S. in 1932. Vigorous vine produces bluish-green, 6-10 lb. fruits with deep ribbing. Buttercup-shape Popular in Australia, this heirloom was introduced to the U.S. in 1932. Beautiful blue turban-shaped 10-20 lb. fruit, deeply ribbed. Very fine, deep golden flesh that is sweet and fine flavored. A good keeper.
Fairytale Musquee de Provence
Description: This is a French Heirloom variety with a Cinderella look, with heavily ridged or scalloped shape . It has a delicious flesh for baking and will store for about 3 months these gorgeous, big flat pumpkins are shaped like a big wheel of cheese, and are heavily lobed and ribbed. fruit grow to 20 lbs. This is a traditional variety from southern France Southern France mainstay. Ribbed, flat, tan fruits are bigger than Long Island Cheese, Thick, deep orange, moderately sweet flesh. In France cut wedges are sold in supermarkets and farmers' markets for cooking. Decorative. Late maturity. Long storage. Sometimes called "Fairlytale."
Description: pie pumpkin. No other variety has such starchy, sweet, smooth, bright orange flesh, making Baby Pam superior for pie and other pumpkin recipes. Uniform, attractive, small pumpkins. Stores well.
Description: … pie pumpkin. (Not pictured here.)
Description: This extra large, heavy yielding New England strain has long been a favorite. An attractive blue-gray color, rough and rugged, it grows on a large vine. The flesh is deep yellow with good flavor and texture. Stores well for 3-4 months.
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I can definitely recommend Marina Di Chioggia for its flavor and dense, smooth texture. It makes a wonderful soup. (Jeff and Lori, feel free to chime in on the comments for this entry. I welcome your culinary input!)
Have you read this piece today in the New York Times? "To The Moon, Alice?" is written by San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson, and includes a discussion with Santa Cruz chef, Eric Lau. (Lau's bistro, Oswald, was one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Cruz. Just perfect.) Patterson posits "so deeply embedded is the mythology of Chez Panisse in the DNA of local food culture that it threatens to smother stylistic diversity and extinguish the creativity that it originally sought to spark."
Bruce Cole, editor of Edible San Francisco and the producer of the highly respected SauteWednesday.com, notes: "Maybe chefs in SF suffer from the seduction of pristine ingredients delivered to their back doors within hours of being harvested. Why bury a fresh-caught halibut fillet in foam when you can poach it in olive oil pressed from fruit just 30 miles away? Maybe it's simply the difference between dining out and eating out. You dine out when the moment calls for celebration, or perhaps you're seeking inspiration with a side of entertainment. You eat out when you are hungry. Simple as that - I think. Seems San Franciscans are hungry more often than not, and local chefs are feeding them just fine."
My friend, "Squeat Mungry" (you've read his name in this blog before) posted this at MouthfulsFood.com*: "[Patterson] seems to ask why the cuisine at the French Laundry or Manresa is the
exception rather than the rule in the area. The answer to that is that
it is exceptional cuisine. It's exceptional in Yountville and Los
Gatos, and from what I hear it's considered exceptional in New York as
well, where a table at Per Se seems to be among the most sought-after
reservations in town."
"Keller's cuisine did not reach its level in spite of Waters' tenets, but precisely because of them. TK's cuisine was honed and perfected within those tenets. There would be no Keller had there been no Waters."
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*Mentioning MouthfulsFood.com at eGullet, or using the PM system there to let other eG members know about another food forum they might enjoy could get you banned. Tell a friend!
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Tyrants have not yet discovered any chains that can fetter the mind." — Charles Caleb Colton
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