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This item was last sold on : 03/06/18
Dumpling squash is a petite winter variety averaging four inches in diameter. Dumpling squash are the size of a large orange with a flattened and caved in top and weigh less than one pound. Their thin skin has a creamy white base and depending upon maturity will be mottled with green, yellow and orange vertical striping. Bold, scalloped, lobes outline this squash, giving it a miniature pumpkin appearance. When cooked the smooth-textured, tender, orange flesh offers a sweet squash flavor.
Dumpling squash is available fall into mid-winter.
Dumpling squash, botanically classified as part of Cucurbita pepo, is also commonly known as Sweet Dumpling squash. Part of the acorn group of squashes it has a striking exterior appearance color and pattern wise to that of delicata and sugar loaf. Members of Cucurbita pepo commonly have vertical striping with the dark stripes normally appearing between the ten main capillaries (vein tracts) and the lighter hue alongside and slightly over these veins. In certain members of C. Pepo such as Dumpling this striping is reversed, a simple genetic occurrence. New hybrid varieties of Dumpling squash have been developed in recent years that have sweeter flesh, higher yields, and resistance to common squash diseases such as powdery mildew.
Dumpling squash provides vitamin A, some of the B vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, and thiamin, and is a good source of fiber. Deep-colored orange-fleshed squashes such as the Dumpling also offer a significant amount of beta-carotene.
The Dumpling is a versatile squash and can be used in both sweet and savory applications. Their lumpy exterior and small size make them difficult to peel, as a result they are most often cooked with their skin on. Luckily, similar to a potato once cooked the skin of the Dumpling squash is edible though oftentimes it is just discarded. Squash can be halved or cut into wedges and roasted, baked, grilled, or steamed. When halved they are the ideal size for stuffing with meats, cheeses, grains or other vegetables. Add roasted or baked slices to warm, green salads or serve alongside grilled meats. The favor of Dumpling squash pairs well with Italian parsley, sage, parsnip, beets, arugula, nutmeg, curry, nuts, strong cheeses, poultry, pears, apple, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, and dried fruits. Dumpling squash are a hard winter variety and will store well. Keep in a cool, dry place and use within a few months for best flavor and texture.
The Dumpling squash was first introduced in the United States under the name “Vegetable Gourd” as a result of its appearance which resembled that of popular decorative gourds. The name, however, proved to be a poor marketing choice for an edible squash and it did not catch on as popular variety until it was renamed, Sweet Dumpling squash.
Squashes of Cucurbita pepo, acorn group were domesticated by Native Americans then later made their way to Europe and Asia. The Dumpling variety specifically was first developed in 1976 by Sakata Seed Corporation of Yokohama, Japan. At the time it was a popular practice in Japanese squash breeding to take larger popular American squash varieties and breed them to be smaller in size and more home garden and home chef friendly. Dumpling squash grow on shorter trailing vines and will benefit from being trellised in order to keep fruits off the ground. Expect plants to produce between eight and ten petite squash within ninety and one hundred days of planting. Squash will be ready when stripes are green, and their stems start to crack. The plants will thrive best in frost free, sunny climates and prefer a rich well-drained soil and moderate moisture.
Recipes that include Dumpling Squash. One is easiest, three is harder.
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