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June 24 , 2008

Drink From My Calabash


The calabash or bottle gourd (not to be confused with the calabaza) is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as a vegetable or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe. For this reason, one of the calabash subspecies is known as the bottle gourd. The fresh fruit has a light green smooth skin and a white flesh. However the rounder varieties are called Calabash gourds whereas the longer and slimmer kinds are usually well known as bottle gourds. The calabash was one of the first cultivated plants in the world, grown not for food but as a container. It was named for the calabash tree (Crescentia cujete).The calabash, as a vegetable, is frequently used in southern Chinese cuisine as either a stir-fry or in a soup. The Chinese name for calabash is hulu) or huzi in Mandarin. In Japan, the species is known as hy¨­tan with the former word referring particularly to the larger-fruiting variety whose fruits are used mostly for making containers or other handicrafts and the latter referring to the smaller-fruiting variety whose fruits are more edible. In Korea, it is known as bak; In the Philippines, it is known as upo; In Italian cuisine, it is known as cucuzza (plural cucuzze). In Central America, the seeds of the Calabash gourd are toasted and ground with other ingredients (including rice, cinnamon, and allspice) to make the drink horchata. Calabash is known locally as morro or j¨ªcaro. In Colombia and Venezuela, the Calabash is known as a tapara or totuma. In Tanzania, the pulp coated seeds of the Calabash are known as buyu (singular)/mabuyu (plural). These sour pulp coated seeds are gently cooked with sugar and coloured with food colouring and sold as sweets in coastal towns.
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