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American Tonda Squash
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This item was last sold on : 04/11/17
The American Tonda is a small to medium-sized winter squash with a classic pumpkin-like shape. The rind has a dark green background with light green and orange-yellow mottling and alternating grey and green stripes along wide ridges. As the squash matures, the coloring will take on an increasingly yellow and orange hue. When cooked the inner flesh is dry, orange in color and offers a sweet squash flavor similar to that of butternut squash.
The American Tonda squash is available in the fall and winter.
The American Tonda squash is part of the Cucurbitaceae family, and botanically a part of Cucurbita pepo. An Italian winter squash variety the American Tonda squash is also known as Tonda Padana and Americana Tonda squash. Ornamental types such as the American Tonda were popular in the mid-nineteenth century and recently have been making a comeback. Known for its ornamental attributes as much as for its use in cookery, the American Tonda is a specialty squash and can be found at select farmers markets and specialty stores when in season.
The American Tonda is known to be high in beta-carotene which provides not only a valuable nutrient but also is responsible for the vibrant coloring of the squash’s flesh.
Often referred to as an ornamental squash the American Tonda is known both for its decorative qualities and for its culinary attributes. Like most winter type squashes, it is most often cooked before use. It can be cut into cubes, wedges or in half and roasted or steamed. The skin should be removed either before or after cooking as it is too tough for consumption. Peeled and cubed squash can be added to pasta and risotto or used as a stuffing for empanadas, calzones, risotto or casseroles. Cooked and pureed squash can be used to make soups and sauces or in sweet preparations such as pies, muffins and bread. In Italy, the American Tonda squash is also classily used to make gnocchi and as a filling for handmade pasta. Its flavor marries well with fresh herbs such as parsley, sage, and basil, gorgonzola and parmesan cheese, curry spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, browned butter, maple syrup, apple, pear, toasted hazelnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, and pancetta. An excellent keeper, to store American Tonda squash keep in a cool, dry place and use within a few months.
Believed to be an Italian variety the American Tonda also known as Tonda Padana gets its name from the Italian word for round (tonda) and from the Po or Padania Valley, the region where the squash is believed to have originated. The American Tonda squash is very similar in appearance and may be a relative of the New Zealand squash popularly used by the Maori known as kumi kumi or kamo kamo squash.
American Tonda squash is believed to have been developed in the Padana or Padania region of north-western Italy. Its name,” American” is thought to have been given from the squashes appearance in shape to the classic American pumpkin. Like many squash varieties, the American Tonda thrives in full sun and should be planted after the risk of frost has passed and harvested before the first frost of the season. The American Tonda squash will be ready for harvest within one hundred days of planting when the rind has hardened and can no longer be dented with a fingernail.
Recipes that include American Tonda Squash. One is easiest, three is harder.
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