Acorn Pumpkin Is A Healthy Vegetable Without Pumpkin Smell And Taste. Cultivation, Use And Varieties. Photo

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Acorn Pumpkin Is A Healthy Vegetable Without Pumpkin Smell And Taste. Cultivation, Use And Varieties. Photo
Acorn Pumpkin Is A Healthy Vegetable Without Pumpkin Smell And Taste. Cultivation, Use And Varieties. Photo

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Pumpkin fruits are so many-sided and changeable that one marvels at their shades and shapes. In culture, at least three types of pumpkin are widely represented, on the basis of which many varieties have been bred. In this article I will talk about the unusual acorn pumpkin, or "acorn pumpkin". This pumpkin has a miniature size, a characteristic shape that makes it look like an acorn, and, most importantly, an unusual pulp. It does not look like the usual pumpkin seed and may well replace potatoes in diet meals. How to grow an acorn pumpkin and how is it used in cooking?

Pumpkin acorn is a healthy vegetable without pumpkin smell and taste
Pumpkin acorn is a healthy vegetable without pumpkin smell and taste

Content:

  • What is an acorn pumpkin?
  • Popular varieties of acorn pumpkin
  • Features of growing acorn pumpkin
  • How to cook acorn squash?

What is an acorn pumpkin?

Traditionally, this type of pumpkin was grown by the indigenous people of North and Central America, from whom European settlers learned about this pumpkin. The Indians prized the acorn pumpkin because it could be stored for a long time. In addition, due to its small size, it was easy to cook the fruit whole on fire coals.

Acorn gourd (Acorn) or as it is sometimes called "pepper gourd", refers to the hard pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo var. Turbinata) and is considered a so-called "winter" vegetable, because it is suitable for long-term storage. The acorn pumpkin is eaten mainly in autumn and winter.

The acorn pumpkin has a well-recognizable appearance: it is characterized by numerous longitudinal ribs, and, as the name implies, its conical shape is very reminiscent of an acorn (the pumpkins are elongated and taper towards the bottom).

The fruits are very tiny in size, their weight ranges from 500 g to 1 kg, while the length of the pumpkin is from 10 to 20 centimeters. The most common cultivar has a dark green bark, often with a bright orange spot on the side or top of the fruit. However, there are varieties that have yellow, orange, variegated and even pure white color. The inside of the acorn pumpkin has light orange or pale yellow flesh.

Another feature of acorn pumpkin is that most varieties have a bush or semi-bush type of growth, that is, such a pumpkin will not take up much space in the garden. At the same time, the acorn pumpkin is very prolific and sometimes has a fantastic yield.

However, the acorn pumpkin has one drawback. Compared to some of the other pumpkins I grow, they don't last very long. Therefore, we try to eat pumpkins-acorns first.

Gills Golden Pippin Pumpkin
Gills Golden Pippin Pumpkin
Pumpkin "Uconn" (Uconn)
Pumpkin "Uconn" (Uconn)
Pumpkin-acorn "Table Queen Bush"
Pumpkin-acorn "Table Queen Bush"

Popular varieties of acorn pumpkin

Gills Golden Pippin Pumpkin. Semi-shrub variety forming relatively short whips up to 1.5 meters long. The taste is very pleasant with a slight nutty flavor, slightly sweetish. Best for stir-frying with onions. This variety is considered to be one of the best in taste of all acorn pumpkin varieties. Fruits weighing up to 1 kilogram, the color of the bark is orange.

Pumpkin "Uconn" (Uconn). Bush type pumpkin, forms massive bushes up to 70 centimeters in diameter. Differs in high productivity. On the bushes, portioned fruits weighing up to 1 kilogram are tied. The classic pumpkin color for acorn pumpkins is dark green with an orange blush on the side. The pulp is slightly sweet in taste. The ripening period is early - 80 days from sowing the seeds.

Pumpkin "Table Queen bush" (Acorn Table Queen Bush). The highly productive variety produces dark green acorn-shaped fruits, about 12 centimeters in diameter with deep longitudinal grooves. Inside is a sweetish orange pulp with a buttery texture. The mass of one pumpkin is up to 1 kilogram. The fruits are ready to harvest in 80 days. The compact bush variety can be used for container growing.

Pumpkin " Gold Acorn " (Table Gold Acorn Squash). An early maturing variety, the harvest ripens in 80-85 days from germination. The plant is compact, bush type of growth. Acorn-like fruits have the most intense orange color of all acorn pumpkin varieties. The average weight of one pumpkin is 500 grams. The pulp is yellow, aromatic, slightly dryish, tender and tasty.

Pumpkin "White acorn" (White Acorn). A unique variety with a white color, rare for a pumpkin. The color can vary from pure white to slightly yellowish cream, the surface of the bark is smooth and dull, the ribbing is shallow. Due to its attractive appearance, it can be used to create decorative compositions. The ripening period is 80 days, the yield is high, the weight of the fruit is up to one kilogram.

Festival Hybrid Pumpkin is a unique variety of acorn pumpkin, often found on the market under the name squash pumpkin. The fruits are distinguished by a very elegant variegated color: stripes of various shades of yellow and orange, as well as dark green circles, are randomly scattered on a cream background. The variety is of medium ripening and is ready for harvesting in 100 days. The yield is very high. Elegant pumpkins are a wonderful decoration of the kitchen interior.

Pumpkin "Gold Acorn" (Table Gold Acorn Squash)
Pumpkin "Gold Acorn" (Table Gold Acorn Squash)
Pumpkin "White acorn"
Pumpkin "White acorn"
Pumpkin "Festival" (Festival Hybrid)
Pumpkin "Festival" (Festival Hybrid)

Features of growing acorn pumpkin

Like most pumpkin varieties, acorn squash is very easy to grow. Seeds are sown directly into the ground after the danger of return frosts has passed. In the middle lane, this period falls approximately in mid-late May.

The seeds are placed in the hole to a depth of about 2.5 centimeters. The distance between the holes is 90x90 centimeters. The soil for planting must first be well filled with organic matter. In good warm weather, seedlings may appear in a week. Caring for pumpkins is minimal - watering during a dry period and feeding with nitrogen (at the beginning of growth) and complex fertilization on soils with an average level of fertility.

Almost all varieties of acorn pumpkin are early ripening. About 85 days after germination, the acorn squash is ready to be harvested. To increase the keeping quality of the fruit, you can carry out the "hardening" procedure, which will help the bark become more firm, and therefore protect the pulp from early spoilage.

This procedure takes seven to ten days, at which time the fruits should be in a warm, dry place protected from light (for example, in a barn). At the same time, it is important to ensure that the room can also protect the fruits from light frosts. After the end of the aging period, the fruits can be brought into the house.

How to cook acorn squash?

The acorn pumpkin has a mild, oily flavor that goes well with any spice or sauces, savory or sweet. This pumpkin is not as rich in beta-carotene as other varieties of pumpkin, however, the fruits are a source of dietary fiber, vitamins C and B, potassium, magnesium and manganese. Acorn gourd does not have the characteristic pumpkin taste and smell, so in many recipes it replaces potatoes.

The acorn pumpkin can be baked, fried, microwaved, stewed, or steamed. Due to its small size, it can be stuffed with a mixture of cereals (rice, millet, yachka), meat or vegetables. Acorn gourd is just perfect for stuffing, since small gourds also serve as original dishes for the dish.

In sweet dishes, maple syrup is often used to enhance the taste of pumpkin, with which the halves are rubbed before baking. The seeds of this pumpkin can also be eaten after toasting. Acorn gourd can also be used to make pumpkin soup.

Acorn Gourd is just perfect for stuffing
Acorn Gourd is just perfect for stuffing

Little Acorn Pumpkin Cooking Tricks

Use a sturdy, sharp knife to cut the hard fruit in half. There is also a little trick that can make it easier to cut a sturdy pumpkin: pierce the bark with a fork or the tip of a knife in several places, put it in the microwave and cook on high power for two minutes. After that, the fruit should be allowed to stand for a few minutes, after which it will be very easy to cut.

To prevent the boat halves from swaying on the baking sheet during baking, cut a small piece from the bottom, this will make the surface flat and more stable.

Dear Readers! What interesting varieties of pumpkin do you grow on your plots? Please share your experience in the comments to the article!

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