Pineapple are ripe when they are slightly soft to the touch and give off a sweet aroma. To prepare pineapple, cut off top and leaves, then slice skin off. Slice thick pieces from the core or cut horizontally into discs and core
Asparagus is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. Though widely found growing wild it is has been cultivated as a vegetable crop for centuries.
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The Tahitian squash, AKA Melon Squash, of the squash family, C Moschato, and a distant relative to the butternut squash, is considered a storage squash, a notation that the squash will keep well into the winter months as a cellar vegetable. This is an advantage of the Tahitian squash over many other winter squash varieties which are known to decay.
The Tahitian squash is heavy, weighing anywhere from eight to thirty pounds at maturity. It has the appearance of a large elongated butternut squash with lengthwise furrowing and some crookneck shape tendencies. Its coloring are vivid like the fall colors of an aged orange maple leaf. Inside the winter Tahitian squash's hardened rind is a thick, firm, dry flesh with rich golden colorings. The flesh contains an easily removable seed cavity at its bulbous end. The flesh has a very high sugar content and thus caramelizes as it cooks, its flavors becoming fragrant, nutty and sweet. Its texture will actually be somewhat fibrous, though, reminiscent of spaghetti squash vs. butternut squash.
The Tahitian squash is loaded with beta carotene and anti-cancer properties. It has been medically proven to lower the chance of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. As with all winter squashes, the Tahitian squash is about 80% water, thus it is very nutrient dense.
Although the size of a Tahitian squash can be imposing when considering how to cook an entire squash for one meal, you can actually cut off what you need and leave the remaining squash on the counter. The cut surface will harden and seal, preserving the flesh. In fact, it is recommended that the squash is not refrigerated, as when chilled, the sugars in the flesh convert to starch. Tahitian squash can be used raw or cooked, though its flavors are far more intriguing when cooked. Tahitian squash can be transformed into soups, purees, cakes, muffins and raviolis. Great companion ingredients and spices include apples, butter, ricotta, aged cheddar cheeses, nuts, pears, chiles, curry, rosemary, cinnamon, citrus, chorizo, bacon and poultry.
Squashes have been growing wild and cultivated for over ten thousand years, though their original culinary usage was for their seeds, as early squashes had little flesh and tasted extremely bitter and inedible. The path of the Tahitian squash evolved from trade between the New World and Old World. Seeds from New World squashes were taken to the island of Tahiti where the Tahitian gourd was first cultivated. Its seeds would eventually travel through Europe and back to the Americas. The Tahitian squash requires much patience in growing, taking 200 days to mature and another 30 days to truly ripen, thus the majority of a calendar year is dedicated to bringing it to harvest.
Recipes that include Tahitian Squash. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Kitchn||Brown Rice with Winter Squash and Cashews|
|Market Forays||Tahitian Squash and Green Apple Soup|
|Cube Marketplace||Umbrian Lentil, Sausage & Tahitian Squash Soup|
|Tasty Eats At Home||Tahitian Squash Risotto|
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