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Pumpkin - Varieties, Useful Properties, Recipes, Use In Design
Pumpkin - Varieties, Useful Properties, Recipes, Use In Design

Video: Pumpkin - Varieties, Useful Properties, Recipes, Use In Design

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Pumpkin, a popular vegetable in Italy, decorates gardens and balconies, gives surprisingly tasty fruits and flowers to the table

Extraordinary, delicious, generous! Pumpkin is the most colorful, colorful vegetable of autumn! Orange fruits of a unique shape among the green lace of openwork leaves seem to radiate sunlight, their beauty turns the vegetable garden into a garden.

Outlandish pumpkin
Outlandish pumpkin

I like everything about her: taste, smell and especially color! It is very difficult not to become sympathetic to her and overcome the desire to grow a pumpkin in oneself. And I, like many Italians who do not even have a garden, have grown her in a large vase to decorate my balcony and receive her fresh flowers. Pumpkin is the largest "berry" (the fruit of a pumpkin, like a watermelon, is botanically referred to as a berry) that can be grown in the garden, and also the easiest to cultivate. It is only necessary to have fertile, well-drained land and a place that is illuminated by the sun throughout the day. And the pumpkin also loves abundant watering, but does not tolerate when water gets on its leaves and stem.


Pumpkin varieties

The pumpkin (Cucurbita), of the cucurbitaceae family, crossed the Anlantika centuries ago, found its home in Italy and gained immense popularity. There are a huge number of pumpkin varieties that differ in size, color of skin and flesh, as well as aroma and taste.

The species and varieties that are now cultivated in Italy come from different parts of the world; most are from Central America (Maxima, Moskata), the interesting Malabar variety was brought from Southeast Asia, but there are also European species and varieties. These are decorative pumpkins: Bottiglia, Lagenaria vulgaris, they were known back in the Romanesque era, and even then the ancient Romans used the pumpkin as a container for water and a flask for wine.

Delica pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo). An old variety, bred in 1894. It grows like a shrub, has a very high productivity, the weight of the fruit is from 500 grams to 1 kilogram. The flesh is yellow-orange in color, firm and sweet. When fresh, its taste resembles that of ranetki apples, when cooked, it tastes like chestnut. The fruits are kept fresh for up to a year.

Pumpkin Piena di Napoli (Moscata). This pumpkin has a stem up to 4 meters long, it has large, whole leaves of a rich green color with gray spots, the fruits are very long, cylindrical in shape, thickened towards the bottom, slightly curved. The skin color is yellowish red. This variety is typical for the southern regions of Italy, the fruit flesh is yellow, sugary, very tasty, with a characteristic Muscat flavor.

Pumpkin Butternut Rugosa (Maxima zucca "violina"). The peel of the fruit is wrinkled, brown-nutty in color, the name of the variety is taken from the shape of the fruit, it is elongated cylindrical, tapering in the middle, slightly resembling a mandolin. It is grown in northern Italy, the pulp has a bright orange color, a pleasant taste. This pumpkin is often used for filling ravioli, as well as in the preparation of many dishes typical of the cuisine of "northern" Italy. Its seeds are very tasty, they are roasted or prepared traditionally - first they are soaked in salted water and then dried.

Turbante pumpkin (Maxima). The variety is very common in Central and Southern Italy, the fruit has a large top shaped like a "cap" with an intense color of red or orange. The variety is early ripening, from 4 to 6 fruits are formed on one plant, they persist from six months to a year. The flesh of this pumpkin is orange, sugary. Soups from it are especially tasty.

Pumpkin Marina di Chioggia (Maxima). It has a very long stem, the fruit is round, as if squeezed from above and below. Skin color is from green to gray-green. Grown mainly in the north of Italy.

Pumpkin Trombetta di Albenga (Moschata). A variety of Italian pumpkin, very decorative. Its fruit grows more or less arcuate, reaching a size from one meter to one and a half. It is widely used in cooking, as it has an excellent taste, reminiscent of the taste of nutmeg.

Grigia di Colonia pumpkin, so named because of its grayish color, is grown exclusively for making jam.

Garden Ideas

The fruits collected and laid out in the autumn sun for drying can become a beautiful composition that will greatly decorate the yard. A pumpkin of warm orange color, will literally light up delicate autumn flowers near a tiny pond. And if you surround the laid-out pumpkins with tradescantia, cereal plants that grow in pots, you get a picture worthy of an artist's brush.


Pumpkin and creativity

The humble pumpkin is the heroine of many legends, beliefs and fairy tales. The ancient Chinese believed that it was endowed with a symbolic reflection of the union of heaven and earth. In Europe, they believe that a pumpkin can drive away evil, so it is hung on windows and doors. In America, a scary head is carved out of it to confuse evil spirits during the Halloween holiday, which has become popular all over the world in recent years.

For centuries, pumpkin has awakened imagination and creativity. One immediately remembers Charles Perrault's fairy tale "Cinderella", where a wonderful transformation of a pumpkin into a carriage with the help of a magic fairy takes place. Songs and poems are dedicated to her. She was in the ornament when painting the halls of rich palaces.

It is not known who first made vessels out of it, but a simple invention became a tradition and is still alive in many national cultures.

Even a simply dried pumpkin is beautiful, it seems that its outer cover-crust is decorated with "molding" and brightly colored by nature itself.

Craftsmen in a special way boil decorative pumpkin varieties in dyes or oil, then modify its shape. They are painted with multi-colored paints, the drawing often contains national ornament and traditional patterns.

Often, jewelers also take on the work, decorating the most elegant vessels, successful bottles and snuff boxes made of pumpkin with a silver frame, gems, and colored glasses. Then the humble pumpkin becomes a work of art.


Pumpkin for health

For many peoples, this vegetable is a symbol of abundance and prosperity due to its enormous size and the abundance of seeds in its fruits. Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of zinc, protein and iron. They can be eaten both dried and fried, or even better, added to salads. Pumpkin seeds have a lot of fans. Pumpkins are not only delicious, but also very healthy. The most valuable substance contained in pumpkin is carotene; in terms of its content, pumpkin is not inferior to carrots. In addition to vitamin A, it also contains many vitamins: C, B 1, B 2, B 12, PP, D and others. The fiber, which is in pumpkin, is easily absorbed even by a weakened body, therefore dishes made from it are recommended for therapeutic and preventive nutrition. Pumpkin is a storehouse of minerals: it contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron, copper, fluorine and zinc …

Dressing the pumpkin flower with components
Dressing the pumpkin flower with components

Pumpkin in cooking

Pumpkin dishes are very popular in Italy. They're delicious, healthy, and easy to make. Almost all of its parts are used in cooking, from flowers to seeds. I first tried this delicious and unusual dish of pumpkin flowers in Italy and now I often cook it myself. Pumpkin flowers are high quality foods that can be eaten from June until the end of the growing season. They are delicious and are used in many recipes. They contain a high percentage of vitamin A, they are easy to digest, and can also decorate any table with their bright, lively colors.

So, the recipe for Stuffed Pumpkin Flowers. To do this, you need to collect (or buy) in the morning or in the evening unopened male pumpkin flowers, rinse them under running water, cut off the green sepals and stems. cut along the flower, remove the stamens, put a salted sprat and a piece of soft mozzarella cheese inside, carefully close the flower, dip it with the filling into the batter. Fry in boiling sunflower oil for about 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese well.

Pizza with pumpkin flowers
Pizza with pumpkin flowers

Another recipe is "Pizza with pumpkin flowers. " I usually make this pizza myself, in an ordinary oven, but I asked my friends, the owners of the family restaurant, to cook it in the oven, or as they call it - "forno", to show the real Italian pizza made according to the old recipe. It needs yeast dough, it should be soft and elastic. It is rolled into a thin layer. Then put grated soft cheese on it, preferably mozzarella and pumpkin flowers, cut into pieces, sprinkle everything with olive oil - and in the oven. The taste and aroma of the dish are extraordinary!

I also often prepare a sauce, light, dietary, very tasty, perfectly complementing boiled fish or rice.

Pumpkin Sauce. Grind the pumpkin pulp together with the onion, add the Parmesan cheese, mix everything well and put it in sterilized jars.

Most importantly, Italians only cook in a good mood and often sing. Maybe this is the secret of the fact that dishes prepared from the most simple, uncomplicated products turn out to be amazingly tasty! Sing and eat to your health!

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