Gem squash

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South African Gem Squash.JPG

Gem squash (Cucurbita pepo var. pepo)[1] is a variety of summer squash that was domesticated from two wild varieties; Cucurbita texana found in the southern and central United States and Cucurbita fraterna found in Mexico.[2] The dark green spherical fruit, when fully ripe, is about the size of a softball (slightly larger than a tennis ball). The fruit needs to be boiled or baked in order to render it palatable. The young fruit is often harvested before it is ripe (about golf ball size) due to its having a more delicate flavour and texture.[3]

It is commonly served as a vegetable in South Africa, often boiled or baked. The cooked gem squash is then generally cut in half, and the inside may be covered in butter or brown sugar to enhance flavor.


  1. ^ Paris, H. S. "Characterization of the Cucurbita pepo collection at the Newe Ya'ar Research Center, Israel". Plant Genetics Resources Newsletter. Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  2. ^ Sauer, Jonathan D. (1993). Historical geography of crop plants - a select roster. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 0849389011. 
  3. ^ "Table 7-126". Biodiversity International. Retrieved January 31, 2015.