The blue banana or Guatemalan blue banana squash as it is often known is an heirloom variety with roots in South America. Their large vines can reach over 6 meters and blue banana, as well as its pink cousins, were very popular up to the last century when they gradually started to be replaced by the ubiquitous but tasteless butternut.
I waited a long time to grow Burgess buttercup squash. There is only one main supplier in the UK which is the Real Seed Company and they always sell out early, added to that we then had covid and everyone decided to become preppers and start growing their own so everywhere sold out of everything. However I had managed to get my order in early enough so 2021 was the year.
If you are used to thinking of squash as the ubiquitous butternut squash you can buy in supermarkets then this one will knock you over with it’s intense chestnut flavour. It is one of my favourite squashes and I grow it every year.
Crown prince is rightly named. A regular favourite amongst allotmenteers it’s delightful duck egg blue colour stands out and it is often regarded as on of the best squash in the kitchen.
I nearly cried when I saw a neighbour displaying these in their front garden for Halloween, probably to be discarded once the frost had turned them to mush. What a waste of one of the best tasting squashes you can grow. It is a little bundle of chestnutty goodness.
I had a bit of a surprise as the squash plants started to die back this year. A giant blue squash hiding behind the greenery. How I had managed to miss such a walloping great thing I have no idea and although it is not one of the giant carving pumpkins, at 5kg it was certainly the biggest squash I had ever grown.
What do you get if you cross a Butternut and a Crown Prince………?
Back in the 1980.s a vegetable hit the local supermarkets and was super trendy for a while but now has largely vanished from the shelves, maybe because it doesn’t pack as well as baby courgettes or people found the yellow colour a little strange but the patty pan lives on in allotments and farmers markets.
The biggest difference you will see between the UK and the USA/Canada at this time of year are the halloween decorations. Even though the UK was the home of the pagan Samhain which is the father of halloween, it generally passes most people by. In contrast in the US and Canada there were streets of…
Fans of this squash of a poetic nature will wax lyrical about its origins. After all who doesn’t find the idea of growing an heirloom variety, dating from the 1600’s from a small italian coastal fishing village on the Venice lagoon somewhat romantic?
Unless you have a large family if you are cooking a large pumpkin like Crown prince you will have a lot of left overs. A wonderful way to use them up is in baking and if you’ve cooked the squash for dinner the night before this soda bread recipe is quick enough to be served fresh with some butter the next morning for breakfast.
The weather is definitely on the turn. We had our first hard frost a few days ago and I’m typing this up in front of a roaring fire. On nights like this there is nothing as warming to body and soul as soup and crusty bread with lashings of butter.
Now is the season for British squashes and the allotment supplies plenty which are slowly ripening in the cool shed to be used over the next few months so Autumn and winter is an ideal time to use this seasonal vegatble.
Thai food is one of the most fragrant and vibrant cuisines. However most of the pastes and sauces that you can buy from supermarkets fall far short of the mark. Making Thai food from scratch produces something that will make you jump up and down with sheer delight with it’s aromatic, vivid and punchy flavours….
Lumpy, bumpy and decidedly funky. Like a spaceship wrapped multicoloured silk, Turks Turban is the Salvador Dali of the cucurbit world.
Opinion is divided about James Wong the Kew trained botanist, writer and broadcaster. James is famous for books covering how to grow unusual or extraordinary things or how to grow every day things in a slightly different way using cutting edge research.