Arcadia Farms

  (Portage, Michigan)
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The Fruit with a Thousand Names

Small Cucuzzi Fruit on vineThis week I was hoping to provide you with a video tour of the gardens. But as I type this it’s raining… and has been for almost an entire day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining! I’m grateful for the cool weather and rain. Instead of a video tour, I thought I’d share with you about our Cucuzzi plant.

[Your what?!]

Cucuzzi plant. You know – Zucchetta. Serpent of Sicily. Longissima. Calabash. Suzza Melon. Tasmania Bean. Indian Squash. This edible gourd with a thousand names has been grown in the Mediterranean for at least two thousand years and is popular in Southern Italy. Though it tastes like summer squash, its white flowers indicate that it’s technically a gourd. Cucuzzi fruit are light green, have a smooth skin and can grow to be larger than 3 feet long! Of course, once they get to that length, they’re less tasty than when they’re smaller [or so I’ve read]. It’s recommended that you harvest them somewhere around twelve inches.

This past spring when I was looking for hard squash seeds, the Cucuzzi immediately caught my attention. When mature they create large J-shaped edible gourds – what’s not to like about that? After planting the seeds I read online that you have to pollinate them by hand. Bummer. I almost regretted buying them. But just a few days later I saw that I had a baby cucuzzi fruit growing – yay! (So much for hand-pollinating, eh?) Within a week there were a couple dozen of them. And just today I was admiring all the fruit – and wondering about that first one I’d seen a week or more ago – when I found this beauty.

Hand next to cucuzzi fruit on vine

To see more pictures and read the rest of this article, click here.


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