Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The plot thickens.

You may recall that I'm planning to make this squash soup. I'm still about 5 weeks away from planting the squash seeds, but the controversy over which squash I'm going to grow continues to swirl. I got a question today from a kind gardener asking me to be sure to post the results of which squash is which, since they are keen to grow it too. The choice, in case you forgot (!), is between Potimarron and Red Kuri.

Now, I had put my money on the Seed Saver's Exchange Potimarron squash based on their description of its origin and flavour. I figured Red Kuri was out since some of the pictures I had seen of them looked a little different (the kuris were more squat and less pear shaped.) However, given that I still have 5 weeks before planting, I figured I'd investigate a little further and, lo' and behold, there is a Wiki on Red Kuri Squash. In the wiki, they say Red Kuri has a chestnut flavour, and that kuri even means chestnut in Japanese. Google translate wouldn't confirm this, since it just translated the Japanese characters into an English spelling of a Japanese word -- i.e. I got kuri back. But, if you do detect language, you discover that kuri means "who" in Latvian. So that doesn't get you very far either.

ANYWAY, the only way to work this out for sure is to grow the Red Kuri and the Potimarron seeds I have and see if they are different in appearance and/or taste. This won't settle anything though, since if they are different, I may have just gotten some bum seeds from a misinformed seed merchant.

This has happend to me on several occasions. The most classic example is my attempt to buy some anasazi bean seeds. I've received about 10 different "anasazi" beans (4 are shown in the picture -- the others are off in dusty corners somewhere). The point is, people may think they are selling you the right thing, but they may be out in left field too. (The one on the left is the right one.) All this to say, I'll grow my squash, see what happens, and may know a little more when all is said and done (and tasted!). Or, I may not.

Incidentally, if you want to get anasazi beans, the folks at  Purcell Mountain farms have them, but they sell them for cooking. They also have a "®" symbol stuck to the name, so I presume they don't want you to grow theirs. I thought this bean had been discovered in a cave and was a thousand years old or something, so I was surprised to see the "®". Clearly I must be out to lunch too. Mmmm... lunch.


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