Red kuri squash

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Red kuri squash (hokkaidokürbis)

Red kuri squash (katakana: ウチキクリ) is thick-skinned pink colored winter squash, that has the appearance of a small pumpkin without the ridges. It belongs to Cucurbita maxima Hubbard Group.

Inside the hard outer skin there is a firm flesh that provides a very delicate and mellow chestnut-like flavor. Red kuri squash is a cultivated variety of the species Cucurbita maxima. The variety is listed as follows: C. maxima Duchesne ssp. maxima convar. maxima 'Red Kuri'. Other varieties of this subspecies include 'Hokkaido', 'Red Hokkaido' and 'Sweet Meat' squashes.[1]

History[edit]

It is generally believed that all squash originated in Mesoamerica,[2][3] but may have been independently cultivated elsewhere, albeit later.[4]

Red kuri squash is commonly called Japanese Squash, Orange Hokkaido Squash,[5] Baby Red Hubbard Squash, or the Uchiki Kuri Squash. In Japan, the word kuri may refer to either the squash discussed in this article or to Japanese chestnuts. In France it is called Potimarron, and in the United Kingdom it is commonly called Onion Squash.

Primarily grown in Japan, California, Florida, Southwestern Colorado, Mexico, Tasmania, Tonga, New Zealand, Chile, Provence, and South Africa, red kuri is widely adapted for climates that provide a growing season of 100 days or more. Most of the California, Colorado, Tonga and New Zealand crops are exported to Japan.

Red kuri squash consumption has increased since squash appreciation has increased in cuisines worldwide. This is because of the availability of winter and summer varieties throughout the year. Healthier eating has also increased this nutritious vegetable's popularity.

Characteristics[edit]

This hardy squash grows to maturity in full sun and is drought tolerant. Each vine produces multiple teardrop-shaped fruits, usually three. The squash matures after about ninety days after blooming.

The squash is hard shelled winter variety with firm yellow flesh. The flesh often has a green tint under the seeds.

Culinary uses[edit]

Red kuri prepared for cooking.

Full-flavored and sweet, red kuri squash is often cooked with butter and herbs. It is an ingredient in a variety of soups, stews and casseroles. It can be make into cakes, quick breads, muffins, cookies and pies with its nutty-tasting flesh. It can be baked, boiled, microwaved, steamed, sautéed or fried. This squash adds sweet flavor and texture to stir-fries. Its seed cavity is ideal for stuffing.

Nutrition[edit]

Red kuri squash is a good source of fiber. It also provides vitamin A and vitamin C, some of the B vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron, riboflavin and thiamine. Low in calories and sodium, this deep-colored squash also contains beta-carotene.[6] Nutrition facts : Nutrition Facts (1 cup cooked, cubes)

   Calories 79.95
   Protein 1.82 grams
   Carbohydrate 17.94 grams
   Dietary Fiber 5.74 grams
   Calcium 28.7 mg
   Iron 0.67 mg
   Potassium 895.85 mg
   Folate 57.40 mcg
   Vitamin A 7,291.85

References[edit]

  1. ^ Systax database at the University of Ulm accessed 11 Sep 2010
  2. ^ Archaeobiology: Squash Seeds Yield New View of Early American Farming
  3. ^ The Initial Domestication of Cucurbita pepo in the Americas 10,000 Years Ago
  4. ^ Eastern North America as an independent center of plant domestication
  5. ^ 'Red Kuri', or 'Orange Hokkaido', squash should not be confused with 'Hokkaido' squash, another variety from the same subspecies.
  6. ^ Hard Red Kuri Squash