July 18th-20th 2022 – A field day for the cucurbits!

Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

(from The Pumpkin by John Greenleaf Whittier)

Each year, the summer months bring a bevy of new vegetables, including a wide array of tempting varieties of Chubeza’s squash and pumpkins. This ensemble comes in green, yellow, orange or beige, dotted and striped, smooth and coarse, round, elongated, pear-shaped, pine-cone shaped, sharp, flat, small and large, and even some in extra-large sizes. A colourful parade of amazing curcurbitas (Latin for “gourds”), all so beautiful and tasty!

This year, we grew seven different squash varieties, from the huge Tripolitanian pumpkin which can definitely serve as transportation for a shoeless princess, through the middle-sized Napolitano pumpkin, oval-shaped spaghetti squash, beloved butternut squash, yummy orange Amoro squash, small green acorn squash, and our new Honeynut, a mini-butternut squash that can fit in the palm of you hand. This variety is different outside and in, varying from yellow to salmon to dark orange, and in taste – a neutral mild flavor, or nutty or sweet, and in texture: moist and juicy, dry and starchy or long and thin spaghettini-style.

Over the coming weeks, you will be inundated with delightful small pumpkins coming almost every week. To those who may feel overwhelmed by the quantities, remember – you needn’t use them right away. We’d rather send them to you now because they have so little breathing space here, crowded by the hundreds. But in your homes, on your kitchen counter or in a wicker basket on the living room table, they’ll keep beautifully while enhancing your décor.  If you keep them dry and ventilated, they’re good for another month or even two! If they start growing a thin spider-like web, just wipe it away with a dry cloth to prevent rotting.

This year’s squash-trickle began over the past few weeks:   first the butternut squash, a pair of green acorn squash, a striped spaghetti squash and a sumptuous slice of Napolitano or Tripolitanian pumpkins, aka the Big Mama that’ll remain with us all the way to winter.

The bigger and smaller pumpkins (also known as “winter squash”), as well as summer squash (including zucchini), all belong to the same botanical category and even to the same species. The differentiation between squash and pumpkins is artificial, having to do with the stage at which they are picked and how they are used by human beings. All varieties are seeded (in an open field, in their natural season) from the end of winter/beginning of springtime, and they all grow from spring to summer.

We pick the “summer squash” early, before they ripen, when their shell is thin and their seeds are not developed, sometimes as early as 40 days after seeding. Since we pick the fruit off the plant before it had time to produce fertilized seeds, the plant makes additional attempts, yielding more and more seed-bearing fruit in order to fulfill its aim in plant-life (and animal-life): to spread its genes. Thus, we are granted a long harvest season from a plant that just keeps on yielding. These squash varieties do not keep for long, which is why in the past they were only eaten during their natural seasons – spring, summer and early fall. Today, squash varieties are also grown in wintertime in hothouses, so they aren’t really seasonal.

However, pumpkins (large and small) are picked as they ripen and mature, when their shell is thick and hard and their seeds are quite large (and crackable). Since we wait till the ripening is complete, they are harvested three to five months from seeding day. Our Tripolitanian pumpkin is large, and often requires a wait of six months. Its hard shell enables it to keep nicely for several months, enabling the Tripolitanian to be eaten in wintertime as well. This trait was particularly advantageous in the pumpkin’s ancestral home of North America in those areas where it is too frigid to grow food during winter. Pumpkins were easily stored in warehouses, offering sweetness and a summery zest to the cold wintery days. Hence their name – winter squash.

Here are some family members that you have already met this season and those you are soon to encounter:

The acorn squash originates in Mexico and the U.S., where Native Americans cultivated earlier species. The dark green variety which we grow was introduced in 1913 and enthusiastically received, thanks to its excellent taste as well as its small size and thin shell, a great relief for those battling the huge, hard pumpkins. In the U.S., and especially for those dining alone, it makes a wonderful serving-for-one as well as a great stuffed vegetable.

The acorn squash’s skin is dry and it has a sweet and nutty taste, which gave it the brilliant name “acorn squash.” Due to its sweetness, the acorn squash goes very well with salty flavors – olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, as well as sweet flavors – a gentle brush of honey or date honey. Its ridged-shell makes the acorn somewhat difficult to peel, but the good news is that you really do not have to! It’s easily eaten in its shell. And if you still need to eat this squash shell-less, remove the shell only after baking or cooking when it’s so much easier to slip off.

The acorn contains more vitamin C and calcium than other squash varieties, and less vitamin A. If you treat it kindly, it will keep for a few months, decorating your tabletop in its shell, but its flavor will eventually ebb. So let it decorate your countertops for a week or two, and then whisk it straight to the oven and onto your plates!

The butternut squash was most likely developed in the 1940s by an amateur gardener (not a farmer or scientist) named Charles A. Leggett as he experimented in species cultivation in a small quarter-acre garden near his house in Stow, Massachusetts. Eventually, Leggett took the fruit of his experiment to the nearby Waltham Field Station to show off what he’d developed. They loved it! He named his baby “butternut” because he thought it was smooth as butter and yummy as a nut. It arrived in Israel in the 1980s, and after attempting several names, the delicacy received the cutesy-catchy name “dalorit.

The butternut squash is usually fond of hot, humid tropical weather. More than her sisters, the butternut really can’t take cold weather, which is why it is the most popular of Israeli squash varieties. The first species of this type were chubby (with seed-filled bellies) with long, sometimes curved necks. Over the years, other variations were developed, some with chubby and shorter necks to provide a uniform vegetable as demanded by the market. Like zucchini, butternuts can also be picked at an earlier stage, and they’re very tasty when young (some say even more than regular squash). They’re fun to grow in a home garden, where you can pick some to be used as summer squash and allow others to ripen till they become the genuine butternut.

The butternut’s smooth rind makes it easy to peel with just a regular vegetable peeler. It is sweet and its pulp becomes soft after cooking, although there are those who claim that baking makes it better. The butternut is very rich in vitamin A, and under good conditions can be kept for six months (but how could you resist?).

Spaghetti squash, aka: vegetable marrow, golden macaroni, spaghetti marrow, and vegetable spaghetti — all names for one of the most distinctive squash varieties that we grow. Its uniqueness is expressed by the fact that after cooking, its flesh can be ferreted out with a fork, and then comes the magic: the cooked flash separates into thin “noodles,” like thin spaghettini. Its flavor is a cross between a pumpkin and a squash, less sweet than a pumpkin or butternut, but sweeter than zucchini. Its gentle flavor makes it possible to eat the “spaghetti noodles” just like you would eat pasta (preferably not a heavy Bolognese) topped by tomato sauce, olive oil and herbs, pesto, Parmesan, etc.

Spaghetti squash was one of the pioneering crops grown at Chubeza, from our very first year. For years we grew the good old yellow variety, which was common in Israel 20 years ago as well. Over the past several years, we’ve added a different variety, striped on the outside but still light on the inside, with a similar taste to the classic variety. Around ten years ago we welcomed a lively innovation: an orange spaghetti squash called “oranghetti,” developed by an Israeli seed company “Origin.” This orange-hued delight is fortified with beta carotene and a gentle sweetness.

This next girlfriend, Amoro, (whose name must have been coined by a love-struck fella or gal) is an orange, round and flat squash boasting a proud little rump. She belongs to a prominent group we already know: the Kabocha’s, or Japanese pumpkins (which some call Hokkaido).  Their defining characteristics are that they are all thick and lumpy on the outside, very hard to peel, and have relatively dry flesh.

Kabocha is Japanese for any type of squash. The origin of the name comes from the squash’s journey from Mesoamérica to Japan. After the Spanish and Portuguese arrived in America and discovered the new fruits and vegetables of the land, they began distributing them at the next stops on their sailing itinerary. The squash probably arrived in Japan in the mid-16th century via Portuguese sailors who brought it from Cambodia. It was named Cambodia abóbora, which was eventually shortened to become kabocha. And thus, every squash in Japan is a kabocha, and that is what this little group is called.

Its orange flesh color testifies to a wealth of beta carotene (vitamin A), which supplies a generous quantity of iron, vitamin C and potassium. The kabocha is similar in taste to the small green acorn squash, but hard to carve, which is why it should be softened first by steaming or baking slightly (first punch holes in the rind to allow the steam to escape). Then it can be easily cut and seeded for you to prepare it to your liking.

You know us by now…..We just love trying out new types of vegetables, and this year we welcome the honeynut, a mini-butternut developed over the past years as a result of an encounter between Dan Barber, an American chef, and Michael Mazourek, a researcher and plant breeder. The chef expressed his desire to serve a butternut dish without having to slice and squash it, measuring the size of a dinner plate. The researcher informed him that he had been working on a smaller breed of butternut, but the seed companies were set in their vision of what a butternut should look like and did not wish to develop the mini type. They thought it looked too skinny and flimsy. But our chef and breeder understood that sometimes less is more, thus embarking upon a journey to bring this cute little species to life. The chef presented the honeynut in an international cooking conference where it received much affection and interest.

This variety is more orange than the cream-coloured butternut, but resembles it in shape, to the point where you get the uncanny feeling that our familiar butternut suddenly shrunk. Its flavor is like a concentrated butternut – sweet, somewhat nutty- flavored, and when baked even sports a caramel-like flavor, as the sugar burns and caramelises.

The honeynut contains twice as much beta carotene as in the butternut squash, and its small size makes it perfect for kiddie portions.

Here she is, in all her glory. This year we planted only a small amount as an experiment. We would love to hear your opinions!

What’s green on the outside, orange on the inside, cylinder-shaped and very long with pumpkin seeds? Meet the Napolitano squash! We have grown it for some years — it’s sweet and tasty and can be sliced widthwise into thick slices, a little like a loaf of bread…

This is a good old vintage squash which has not ceased to please, despite the many years it’s been around. Napolitano is widely grown in Europe and Israel. It’s Italian in origin, as you may have already guessed (and as such can also be used as a gangster weapon should the need arise). It’s been around forever, appearing in the illustrated Vegetable Garden by Vilmorin dating back to 1856, which describes the popular vegetables of the era. Napolitano is well-loved in southern Italy where it is cooked together with spicy pepper, eggplant, tomato, pears and plums in a seasonal soup called Giambotta, or fried and served with various dressings. The seeds may be noshed upon roasted and salted.

Its shape resembles a huge butternut squash – with a wide bottom and narrower bottleneck, but sometimes it can reach one meter in length! Napolitano weighs between 7-15 kg with a texture similar to the butternut: smooth and more condensed than a regular pumpkin, and mildly sweet. Its inside resembles the butternut, with a thicket of fiber and seeds. If your slice landed up coming from the seed section, use them well, but if you received a piece of “neck,” it is seed-free. Both are super yummy!

Like the Napolitano, the Tripolitanian squash arrives in your box in a slice. I don’t know why people think the Forbidden Fruit from the Garden of Eden is an apple. I think all facts point to the pumpkin being the fruit of all fruits. To begin with, a pumpkin bush can easily seem as if it were taken from the jungle, with a thick stem sprouting roots all around, huge leaves protecting the fruit and large, beautiful yellow flowers.

Secondly, the squash is loaded with lutein, the yellow-orange pigment which is the major antioxidant of our eyes. It is no surprise then that Adam and Eve’s eyes flew open once they took a bite.

Lastly, Eve couldn’t finish the huge pumpkin all by herself and had to invite Adam over to eat….

The Tripolitanian squash is the most popular of the squashes in Israel – a huge pumpkin sporting a cream-colored shell and orange flesh. Our huge, mighty Tripolitanian squash is seeded at 2-3 meter intervals to allow it enough room to grow, since each pumpkin plant can reach a hefty 9-meter size! We seed it in March, sometimes even at the end of February and wait patiently for 4-5 months until it ripens and changes color to light cream. The pumpkins (some of which are huge!) are collected from the field to be placed in a royal storage shed built especially for them, where they enjoy a covered surface and shade. We can thus place them next to each other, allowing for more space even after being picked and contributing to their ventilation and lifespan.

The multi-varied shapes and colors of pumpkins are an example of Nature’s paintbrush. At times, human beings take it one stroke further – So for your dessert, enjoy this beautiful, crazy pumpkin statue created by Japanese pumpkin-lover artist Yayoi Kusama.

Wishing you a squash of flavor, and a hearty bon appetito from its homeland!

Alon, Bat-Ami, Dror, Orin and the entire Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

 The potatoes in this week’s boxes are included as freebies in your box due to our recent discovery of internal spots that have developed within the potato tubers.  This is a phenomenon of “internal browning” or “blackheart” which we’ve already encountered this winter, probably resulting from a certain stress which the plant experienced at some point during growth. It is important to understand that the dark areas are not rotten and not disease-infected, and that you can definitely use these less attractive potato parts. We still prefer to include them for the next two weeks as an “extra” item which does not count as one of the vegetables in your box. If you do not wish to receive these potatoes at all, please write to us and we will oblige.

Monday: Cherry tomatoes, scallions/leeks/parsley root, parsley/coriander/ basil/New Zealand spinach, beets/carrots, eggplant/ onions, green soy (edamame)/flat or purple beans/long Thai lubia/okra, butternut squash/mini butternut squash, tomatoes, cucumbers/fakus, melon/watermelon, lettuce. SPECIAL GIFT: Potatoes

Large box, in addition: Squash/zucchini/garlic, red long peppers, corn /slice of pumpkin.

FRUIT BOXES:  Apples, mangos, grapes, plums/peaches/nectarines.

Wednesday: Cherry tomatoes/long Thai lubia/okra, scallions/leeks/parsley root, parsley/coriander/ basil, New Zealand spinach/lettuce, beets/carrots, eggplant/garlic, green soy (edamame)/flat or purple beans, butternut squash/mini butternut squash/amoro squash/acorn squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, melon. SPECIAL GIFT: Potatoes

Large box, in addition: Squash/zucchini/slice of pumpkin, red long peppers, corn/onions.

FRUIT BOXES:  Apples, mangos, grapes, banana.

May 18th-19th 2021 – Pump (that) kinship

In these painful and dismaying times, this is, in fact, the right timing to introduce you to our new local and excellent tahini maker Kamel Hashalmon of Al Yasmin Tahini and Halva restaurant in Abu Ghosh. Kamel worked as a chef in many celebrated restaurants, yet he was never able to find the perfect Tahini. Leaving the world of restaurants, he then decided to learn the art of sesame grinding and become an expert in the field.

Al Yasmin’s millstones where they grind the sesame seeds were tailor-made by a traditional stonemason artist. They import quality tahini from Ethiopia and grind various types of Tahini in small quantities:

White Tahini – made from peeled sesame seeds lightly roasted; whole sesame Tahini made from whole sesame seeds in their peel; roasted Tahini made of peeled sesame seeds, roasted on low heat for 9 hours; black tahini made of black sesame seeds.

Aside from the tahini, a local producer from Abu Ghosh specially manufactures Dibas – grape honey made of concentrated fruit only without any additives – for Al Yasmin.

For some time now, we have been planning to make your hearts rejoice by offering the excellent Al Yasmin tahini – that has received rave reviews – straight to your door. Now we are delighted to finally make this dream come true. Add it to your vegetable boxes via our order system today!!

Bon Appetite!

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I feel uncomfortable writing a newsletter about vegetables and the field, while chaos, violence and hate surround us. And yet, we insist on persevering with our small growths, and perhaps we will be to provide some distraction even temporarily.

This week we began harvesting the first of our pumpkins. Here at Chubeza, when we say pumpkins we mean that slice of pumpkin you already got in your boxes, orange on the inside, light colored on the outside, as well as the smaller squash varieties – the Provence pumpkin, orangish-brown on the outside; the Napoli pumpkin –  long and banana-shaped with a green shell; the elliptic spaghetti squash – yellow and smooth; the green acorn squash (resembling a pinecone); the delectable Japanese squash, and of course the familiar creamy butternut. This year the pioneers are the butternut and spaghetti squash.

The bigger and smaller pumpkins (also known as winter squash), as well as summer squash, among them the zucchini, belong to the same botanical category, and even to the same species. The differentiation between squash and pumpkins is artificial, having to do with the stage at which they are picked and how they are used. All varieties are seeded (in an open field, in their natural season) from the end of winter/beginning of springtime, and they all grow from spring to summer.

However, we pick the “summer squash” early, before they ripen, when their shell is thin and their seeds are not developed, sometimes as early as 40 days from seeding. Since we pick the fruits off the plant before it had time to produce fertilized seeds, the plant makes additional attempts, yielding more and more seed-bearing fruit in order to fulfill its aim in plant-life (and animal-life): to spread its genes. Thus we are granted a long harvest season from a plant that just keeps on yielding. These squash do not keep for long, which is why in the past they were only eaten during their natural season, summertime, hence their name. Today, squash are also grown in wintertime in hothouses, so they aren’t really seasonal.

Pumpkins (large and small), however, are picked as they ripen and mature, when their shell is thick and hard and their seeds are quite large. Since we wait till the complete ripening, they are harvested three to five months from seeding day. Our Tripolitanian pumpkin is large, and often requires a wait of six months.

In places where winter is long and hard and pumpkins are seeded in the middle of springtime, they only arrive at a full ripening at the end of summer. Their hard shell allows them to keep nicely, sometimes up to six months (depending on the variety), enabling them to be eaten in wintertime. This presents a particularly significant advantage in the pumpkin’s ancestral home of North America in those areas where it is too cold to grow food during the winter. Pumpkins were easily stored in warehouses, offering sweetness and a summery zest to the cold wintery days which is how they received the title winter squash.

This week we will begin the pumpkin parade by introducing you to the wonderful acorn squash and spaghetti squash.

The acorn squash originated in Mexico and the U.S. where the Native Americans cultivated earlier species. The dark green type which we grow, (resembling the shape of a pinecone) was introduced in 1913 by the Iowa Seed Company, where it arrived from Denmark or North Dakota (there is a controversy about this). It was received enthusiastically, thanks to its excellent taste and also because of its small size and thin shell, a source of relief for those battling the huge, hard pumpkins. In the U.S., and especially for those dining alone, it made a good serving-for-one as well as a great stuffed vegetable.

The first round of seeding took place in March when it was still quite chilly, thus we covered the seeds and young sprouts in clear plastic to warm up the earth and their growth environment. The plastic is removed once the plants grow and the temperature rises. Usually, from seeding to ripening takes three months. We know it’s time to harvest when the green acorn shell sports a yellow stain. Upon harvesting, the squash keep for two months (more or less) and its best not to store them in refrigeration. These acorn beauties, joined by their girlfriends appearing soon in your boxes, will be a lovely sight to place in a bowl and adorn your kitchen table or counter.

The acorn squash’s skin is less moist than regular squash, and it has a sweet and nutty taste, which gave it the brilliant name “acorn squash.” Due to its sweetness, it goes very well with salty flavors as well – olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, as well as sweet flavors – a gentle brush of honey or date honey. The cracks lining the fruit make it somewhat difficult to peel, but the good news is that you really do not have to! It tastes great in its shell. And if you still need to eat this squash shell-less, remove the shell only after baking or cooking when it’s so much easier to slip off.

Vegetable marrow, golden macaroni, spaghetti marrow, spaghetti squash, and vegetable spaghetti — all names for one of the most distinctive squash we grow. Its uniqueness is expressed by the fact that after cooking, its flesh can be ferreted out with a fork, and then comes the magic: the cooked flesh separates into thin “noodles,” not unlike very thin spaghetti. Their flavor is a cross between a pumpkin and a squash, not as sweet as a pumpkin or butternut, but sweeter than zucchini. This is why the “spaghetti noodles” can be eaten just like you would eat pasta: with tomato sauce, olive oil and herbs, pesto, Parmesan (preferably not a heavy Bolognese), etc.

All spaghetti squash recipes start with the same instructions: First cook, steam or bake till the flesh softens (to the point a fork penetrates easily), then wait 15 minutes till it cools enough to comfortably handle. (Spaghetti squash is really hot when it comes out of the oven or pot. But that’s nothing compared to how really, really hot it gets inside when baked or cooked whole. Do be careful).

Here are a few techniques for basic preparation before you check out the recipes.

  • Baking whole: Puncture the peeling with a fork, pre-heat oven to moderate temperature and bake the vegetable for an hour.
  • Baking in halves: Slice the squash lengthwise (to create two ellipses), remove seeds, heat oven to moderate temperature, and place the squash in a baking dish face down. Bake for one hour.
  • Steaming: Puncture the peeling with a fork, place small amount of water in pot, insert a vegetable steamer tray and bring to a boil. Place squash on the steamer, seal lid tightly, and steam for 30 minutes.
  • Cooking: Bring enough water to cover squash to a boil, then place whole squash inside and cook for around half an hour.
  • Microwaving: Slice the squash lengthwise (forming two ellipses). Remove seeds and place face down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Cover dish and bake for 7-12 minutes.

Once the squash is soft, let it cool. If prepared whole, slice lengthwise and remove seeds. With a fork, gently separate the pulp into thin noodles and place them in a bowl.

Usually, the squash produces a surprisingly large amount of “spaghettini,” much more than you would expect from the looks of the outside. Apparently, sometimes the parts really are greater than the whole…

Make a sauce for your “spaghetti,” such as tomato, pesto, aglio e olio or olive oil and fresh herbs. You can even sprinkle parmesan on it, or simply season and consume with pleasure.

As this unique vegetable has made its way into the realm of haute cuisine, complex gourmet recipes have been added to the repertoire. You can find some in our recipe section, or simply experiment with preparing it in quiches, vegetable fritters, sweet/sour/spicy/Asian/Mid-Eastern seasoning, etc.

The whole squash will keep whole for over a month in a cool place. If cut, cover with plastic food wrap and keep in the fridge for two to three days. Cooked “spaghetti” should be kept in a sealed container for the same amount of time. You can also freeze cooked spaghetti squash dishes by placing them in freezer bags or sealed containers. Before serving, partially defrost and steam for five minutes till it’s warm, but not soggy.

Wishing us all peaceful and quiet days,

From all of us at Chubeza

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Tuesday: Zucchini, green leaf lettuce/lettuce hearts, parsley/coriander/dill, onions/garlic, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, carrots, Swiss chard/kale, acorn squash/spaghetti squash/slice of Napoli pumpkin

Large box, in addition: Cabbage/melon/bell peppers, fakus/turnips, New Zealand spinach.

FRUIT BOXES: Green apples, avocados, bananas/lemons,loquats (shesek).

Wednesday: Zucchini, lettuce, parsley/coriander/dill, cabbage/onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, beets, Swiss chard/New Zealand spinach, acorn squash/spaghetti squash. Small boxes: carrots/melon.

Large box, in addition: Carrots and melon, slice of Napoli pumpkin/garlic/scallions, bell peppers/fakus.

FRUIT BOXES: Green apples, avocados/nectarines, bananas/lemons,loquats (shesek)

July 6th-8th 2020 – Squish-Squash

Each year, the summer months brings a bevy of new vegetables, among them a wide array of tempting varieties of Chubeza’s squash and pumpkins. This ensemble comes in green, yellow, orange or beige, dotted and striped, smooth and coarse, round, elongated, pear-shaped, pine-cone shaped, sharp, flat, small and large, and even some in extra-large sizes. What a field day for the curcurbitas (Latin for “gourds”), all so beautiful and tasty!

This year we grew five different squash varieties, from the huge Tripolitanian pumpkin which can definitely serve as transportation for a shoeless princess, through the middle-sized Napolitano pumpkin, the familiar butternut squash, the oh-so-orange and textured Amoro squash, all the way to the compact, fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand green acorn squash. This variety is different outside and in, varying from yellow to salmon to dark orange, and in taste – a neutral gentle flavor, or nutty or sweet, and in texture: moist and juicy, dry and starchy or long and thin spaghetti-style.

Over the coming weeks you will be inundated with delightful small pumpkins coming almost every week. We remind you that you needn’t use them right away. We’d rather send them to you now, because here, crowded by the hundreds, they have so little breathing space. But in your homes, on your kitchen counter or in a wicker basket on the living room table, they’ll keep beautifully while enhancing your décor with a flair. If you keep them dry and ventilated, they’re good for another month or even two! If they start growing a thin spider-like web, just wipe it away with a dry cloth to prevent rotting.

The squash-trickle began over the past few weeks:   first the butternut squash, a pair of green acorn squash, and the orange-hued Amoro pumpkin arrived. Soon to come: a sumptuous slice of Napolitano pumpkin will grace your boxes. After that, it’s time to greet the big mama – the immense Tripolitanian pumpkin that’ll remain with us all the way to winter.

The bigger and smaller pumpkins (also known as winter squash) as well as summer squash (including zucchini) belong to the same botanical category and even to the same species. The differentiation between squash and pumpkins is artificial, having to do with the stage at which they are picked and how they are used by human beings. All varieties are seeded (in an open field, in their natural season) from the end of winter/beginning of springtime, and they all grow from spring to summer.

We pick the “summer squash” early, before they ripen, when their shell is thin and their seeds are not developed, sometimes as early as 40 days after seeding. Since we pick the fruits off the plant before it had time to produce fertilized seeds, the plant makes additional attempts, yielding more and more seed-bearing fruit in order to fulfill its aim in plant-life (and animal-life): to spread its genes. Thus we are granted a long harvest season from a plant that just keeps on yielding. These squash do not keep for long, which is why in the past they were only eaten during their natural season, summertime, hence their name. Today, squash are also grown in wintertime in hothouses, so they aren’t really seasonal.

Pumpkins (large and small), however, are picked as they ripen and mature, when their shell is thick and hard and their seeds are quite large (and crackable). Since we wait till the ripening is complete, they are harvested three to five months from seeding day. Our Tripolitanian pumpkin is large, and often requires a wait of six months. Its hard shell allows it to keep nicely for several months, enabling it to be eaten in wintertime as well. This presents a particularly significant advantage in the pumpkin’s ancestral home of North America in those areas where it is too cold to grow food during winter. Pumpkins were easily stored in warehouses, offering sweetness and a summery zest to the cold wintery days. Hence their name – winter squash.

Here are some family members that you have already met this season:

The acorn squash originates in Mexico and the U.S. where Native Americans cultivated earlier species. The dark green type which we grow was introduced in 1913 and enthusiastically received, thanks to its excellent taste as well as its small size and thin shell, a source of relief for those battling the huge, hard pumpkins. In the U.S., and especially for those dining alone, it makes a good serving-for-one as well as a great stuffed vegetable.

The acorn squash really does taste delicious. Its skin is less moist than regular squash, and it has a sweet and nutty taste, which gave it the brilliant name “acorn squash.” Due to its sweetness, the acorn squash goes very well with piquant flavors – olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, as well as sweet flavors – a gentle brush of honey or date honey. The ridges lining the fruit make it somewhat difficult to peel, but the good news is that you really do not have to! It tastes great in its shell. And if you still need to eat this squash shell-less, remove the shell only after baking or cooking when it’s so much easier to slip off.

The acorn contains more vitamin C and calcium than other squash varieties, and less vitamin A. If you treat it kindly, it will keep for a few months, decorating your tabletop, but its flavor will ebb. So let it decorate your countertops for a week or two, and then whisk it straight to the oven and onto your plates!

דלוריתThe butternut squash was most likely developed in the 1940s by an amateur gardener (not a farmer or scientist) named Charles A. Leggett who was experimenting in species cultivation in a small quarter-acre garden near his house in Stow, Massachusetts. Eventually, Leggett took the fruit of his experiment to the nearby Waltham Field Station to show them what he’d developed. They loved it! He named his baby “butternut” because he thought it was smooth as butter and yummy as a nut. It arrived in Israel in the 1980s, and received the cutesy name “dalorit.

The butternut squash is usually fond of hot, humid tropical weather. More than her sisters, the butternut really can’t take cold weather, which is why it is the most popular of Israeli squash varieties. The first species of this type were chubby-looking (with seed-filled bellies) and had long, sometimes curved necks. Over the years, other variations were developed, some with chubby and shorter necks to provide a uniform vegetable demanded by the market. Like zucchini, butternuts can also be picked at an earlier stage, and they’re very tasty when young (some say even more than regular squash). They’re fun to grow in a home garden, where you can pick some to be used as summer squash and allow others to ripen till they become the genuine butternut.

The butternut’s smooth rind makes it easy to peel with just a regular vegetable peeler. It is sweet and its pulp becomes soft after cooking, although there are those who claim that baking makes it better. The butternut is very rich in vitamin A, and under good conditions can be kept for six months (but how could you resist?).

amoroThis next girlfriend, Amoro(whose name must have been coined by a love-struck fella or gal) is an orange, round and flat squash boasting a proud little rump. She belongs to a prominent group we already know: the Kabocha’s, or Japanese pumpkins (which some call Hokkaido).  Their defining characteristics are that they are all thick and lumpy on the outside, very hard to peel, and have relatively dry flesh.

Kabocha” is Japanese for any type of squash. The origin of the name comes from the squash’s journey from Mesoamérica to Japan. After the Spanish and Portuguese arrived in America and discovered the new fruits and vegetables of the land, they began distributing them at the next stops on their sailing itinerary. The squash probably arrived in Japan in the mid-16th century via Portuguese sailors who brought it from Cambodia. It was named Cambodia abóbora, which was eventually shortened to become kabocha. And thus, every squash in Japan is a kabocha, and that is what this little group is called.

Its orange flesh color testifies to its wealth of beta carotene (vitamin A), which supplies a generous quantity of iron, vitamin C and potassium. It is similar in taste to the small green acorn squash, but hard to carve, which is why it should be softened first by steaming or baking slightly (first punch holes in the rind to allow the steam to escape). Then it can be easily cut and seeded for you to proceed and prepare it to your liking.

What’s green on the outside, orange on the inside, cylinder-shaped and very long with pumpkin seeds? Meet the Napolitano squash! We have grown it for some years — it’s sweet and tasty and can be sliced widthwise into thick slices, a little like a loaf of bread…

This is a good old vintage squash which has not ceased to please despite the many years it’s been around. Napolitano is widely grown in Europe and Israel. It’s Italian in origin, as you may have already guessed (and as such can also be used as a gangster weapon when the need arises). It’s been around forever, appearing in the illustrated Vegetable Garden by Vilmorin dating back to 1856, which describes the popular vegetables of the era. Napolitano is well-loved in south Italy where it is cooked together with spicy pepper, eggplant, tomato, pears and plums in a seasonal soup called Giambotta, or fried and served with various dressings. The seeds are noshed on roasted and salted.

Its shape resembles a huge butternut squash – with a wide bottom and narrower bottleneck, but sometimes it can reach one meter in length! Napolitano weighs between 7-15 kg and the texture is similar to the butternut: smooth and more condensed than a regular pumpkin, with a gentle sweetness. Its inside looks like the butternut, with a thicket of fiber and seeds. If your slice landed up coming from the seed section, use them well, but if you received a piece of “neck,” this is seed-free. Both are super nice!

The multi-varied shapes and colors of pumpkins are an example of Nature’s paintbrush. At times, human beings take it one stroke further – So for your dessert, enjoy this beautiful, crazy pumpkin statue created by Japanese pumpkin-lover artist Yayoi Kusama.

Wishing you a squash of flavor, and bon appetite!

Alon Bat Ami, DRor, Orin and the Chubeza team

______________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Zucchini, lettuce, corn, melon/watermelon, cucumbers/fakus, tomatoes, Amoro pumpkin/ butternut squash/acorn squash/slice of pumpkin, yellow string beans/Thai yard-long beans, basil/coriander, eggplant/bell peppers/potatoes, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard.

Large box, in addition: Cherry tomatoes, parsley, scallions/onions.  

FRUIT BOXES: Plums, apples, grapes, mango

Wednesday: Zucchini, corn, melon/watermelon, cucumbers/fakus, cherry tomatoes, Amoro pumpkin/butternut squash/acorn squash, yellow string beans/Thai yard-long beans, basil/coriander, eggplant/bell peppers/potatoes, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, scallions/onions/leek/garlic.

Large box, in addition: Tomatoes, parsley, lettuce/slice of pumpkin.  

FRUIT BOXES: Plums, apples, grapes, mango.

June 24th-26th 2019 – Squish-Squash

After waiting for sooooo long, a new stock of Tamir’s Honey has finally arrived!  “D’vash Mibeit Abba” (“Honey from Father’s House”) from Moshav Sha’al on the Golan Heights, in wildflower (dark honey) and blueberry blossom (light honey) flavors, is available in kilo-size jars. This honey is fresh from the hive, thus still liquid. In time and in cool temperatures, it will solidify.

Order this fresh, sublime sweet treat today from our Order System.

______________________________________________

Each year, the month of June brings a bevy of new vegetables, among them a wide array of tempting varieties of Chubeza’s squash and pumpkins. This ensemble comes in green, yellow, orange or beige, dotted and striped, smooth and coarse, round, elongated, pear-shaped, pine-cone shaped, sharp, flat, small and large, and even some in extra-large sizes. What a field day for the curcurbitas (Latin for “gourds”), all so beautiful and tasty!

This year we grew five different squash varieties, from the huge Tripolitanian pumpkin which can definitely serve as transportation for a shoeless princess, through the middle-sized Napolitano pumpkin, the familiar butternut squash, the oh-so-orange and textured Amoro squash, all the way to the compact, fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand green acorn squash. This variety is different outside and in, varying from yellow to salmon to dark orange, and in taste – a neutral gentle flavor, or nutty or sweet, and in texture: moist and juicy, dry and starchy or long and thin spaghetti-style.

Over the coming weeks you will be inundated with delightful small pumpkins coming almost every week. We remind you that you needn’t use them right away. We’d rather send them to you now, because here, crowded by the hundreds, they have so little breathing space. But in your homes, on your kitchen counter or in a wicker basket on the living room table, they’ll keep beautifully while enhancing your décor with a flair. If you keep them dry and ventilated, they’re good for another month or even two! If they start growing a thin spider-like web, just wipe it away with a dry cloth to prevent rotting.

The squash-trickle began over the past few weeks:   first the butternut squash, a pair of green acorn squash, and the orange-hued Amoro pumpkin arrived. Soon to come: a sumptuous slice of Napolitano pumpkin will grace your boxes. After that, it’s time to greet the big mama – the immense Tripolitanian pumpkin that’ll remain with us all the way to winter.

The bigger and smaller pumpkins (also known as winter squash) as well as summer squash (including zucchini) belong to the same botanical category and even to the same species. The differentiation between squash and pumpkins is artificial, having to do with the stage at which they are picked and how they are used by human beings. All varieties are seeded (in an open field, in their natural season) from the end of winter/beginning of springtime, and they all grow from spring to summer.

We pick the “summer squash” early, before they ripen, when their shell is thin and their seeds are not developed, sometimes as early as 40 days after seeding. Since we pick the fruits off the plant before it had time to produce fertilized seeds, the plant makes additional attempts, yielding more and more seed-bearing fruit in order to fulfill its aim in plant-life (and animal-life): to spread its genes. Thus we are granted a long harvest season from a plant that just keeps on yielding. These squash do not keep for long, which is why in the past they were only eaten during their natural season, summertime, hence their name. Today, squash are also grown in wintertime in hothouses, so they aren’t really seasonal.

Pumpkins (large and small), however, are picked as they ripen and mature, when their shell is thick and hard and their seeds are quite large (and crackable). Since we wait till the ripening is complete, they are harvested three to five months from seeding day. Our Tripolitanian pumpkin is large, and often requires a wait of six months. Its hard shell allows it to keep nicely for several months, enabling it to be eaten in wintertime as well. This presents a particularly significant advantage in the pumpkin’s ancestral home of North America in those areas where it is too cold to grow food during winter. Pumpkins were easily stored in warehouses, offering sweetness and a summery zest to the cold wintery days. Hence their name – winter squash.

Here are some family members that you have already met this season:

The acorn squash originates in Mexico and the U.S. where Native Americans cultivated earlier species. The dark green type which we grow was introduced in 1913 and enthusiastically received, thanks to its excellent taste as well as its small size and thin shell, a source of relief for those battling the huge, hard pumpkins. In the U.S., and especially for those dining alone, it makes a good serving-for-one as well as a great stuffed vegetable.

The acorn squash really does taste delicious. Its skin is less moist than regular squash, and it has a sweet and nutty taste, which gave it the brilliant name “acorn squash.” Due to its sweetness, the acorn squash goes very well with piquant flavors – olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, as well as sweet flavors – a gentle brush of honey or date honey. The ridges lining the fruit make it somewhat difficult to peel, but the good news is that you really do not have to! It tastes great in its shell. And if you still need to eat this squash shell-less, remove the shell only after baking or cooking when it’s so much easier to slip off.

The acorn contains more vitamin C and calcium than other squash varieties, and less vitamin A. If you treat it kindly, it will keep for a few months, decorating your tabletop, but its flavor will ebb. So let it decorate your countertops for a week or two, and then whisk it straight to the oven and onto your plates!

דלוריתThe butternut squash was most likely developed in the 1940s by an amateur gardener (not a farmer or scientist) named Charles A. Leggett who was experimenting in species cultivation in a small quarter-acre garden near his house in Stow, Massachusetts. Eventually, Leggett took the fruit of his experiment to the nearby Waltham Field Station to show them what he’d developed. They loved it! He named his baby “butternut” because he thought it was smooth as butter and yummy as a nut. It arrived in Israel in the 1980s, and received the cutesy name “dalorit.

The butternut squash is usually fond of hot, humid tropical weather. More than her sisters, the butternut really can’t take cold weather, which is why it is the most popular of Israeli squash varieties. The first species of this type were chubby-looking (with seed-filled bellies) and had long, sometimes curved necks. Over the years, other variations were developed, some with chubby and shorter necks to provide a uniform vegetable demanded by the market. Like zucchini, butternuts can also be picked at an earlier stage, and they’re very tasty when young (some say even more than regular squash). They’re fun to grow in a home garden, where you can pick some to be used as summer squash and allow others to ripen till they become the genuine butternut.

The butternut’s smooth rind makes it easy to peel with just a regular vegetable peeler. It is sweet and its pulp becomes soft after cooking, although there are those who claim that baking makes it better. The butternut is very rich in vitamin A, and under good conditions can be kept for six months (but how could you resist?).

amoroThis next girlfriend, Amoro(whose name must have been coined by a love-struck fella or gal) is an orange, round and flat squash boasting a proud little rump. She belongs to a prominent group we already know: the Kabocha’s, or Japanese pumpkins (which some call Hokkaido).  Their defining characteristics are that they are all thick and lumpy on the outside, very hard to peel, and have relatively dry flesh.

Kabocha” is Japanese for any type of squash. The origin of the name comes from the squash’s journey from Mesoamérica to Japan. After the Spanish and Portuguese arrived in America and discovered the new fruits and vegetables of the land, they began distributing them at the next stops on their sailing itinerary. The squash probably arrived in Japan in the mid-16th century via Portuguese sailors who brought it from Cambodia. It was named Cambodia abóbora, which was eventually shortened to become kabocha. And thus, every squash in Japan is a kabocha, and that is what this little group is called.

Its orange flesh color testifies to its wealth of beta carotene (vitamin A), which supplies a generous quantity of iron, vitamin C and potassium. It is similar in taste to the small green acorn squash, but hard to carve, which is why it should be softened first by steaming or baking slightly (first punch holes in the rind to allow the steam to escape). Then it can be easily cut and seeded for you to proceed and prepare it to your liking.

What’s green on the outside, orange on the inside, cylinder-shaped and very long with pumpkin seeds? Meet the Napolitano squash! We have grown it for some years — it’s sweet and tasty and can be sliced widthwise into thick slices, a little like a loaf of bread…

This is a good old vintage squash which has not ceased to please despite the many years it’s been around. Napolitano is widely grown in Europe and Israel. It’s Italian in origin, as you may have already guessed (and as such can also be used as a gangster weapon when the need arises). It’s been around forever, appearing in the illustrated Vegetable Garden by Vilmorin dating back to 1856, which describes the popular vegetables of the era. Napolitano is well-loved in south Italy where it is cooked together with spicy pepper, eggplant, tomato, pears and plums in a seasonal soup called Giambotta, or fried and served with various dressings. The seeds are noshed on roasted and salted.

Its shape resembles a huge butternut squash – with a wide bottom and narrower bottleneck, but sometimes it can reach one meter in length! Napolitano weighs between 7-15 kg and the texture is similar to the butternut: smooth and more condensed than a regular pumpkin, with a gentle sweetness. Its inside looks like the butternut, with a thicket of fiber and seeds. If your slice landed up coming from the seed section, use them well, but if you received a piece of “neck,” this is seed-free. Both are super nice!

Wishing you a squash of flavor, and bon appetite!

Alon Bat Ami, DRor, Orin, Yochai and the Chubeza team

______________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Amoro pumpkin, lettuce, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, parsley/coriander, eggplant, watermelon. Small boxes only: Acorn squash, garlic/leeks/scallions

Large box, in addition: Fakus, corn, zucchini, cherry tomatoes/green string beans, butternut squash

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, melon, cherries, apricots.  Large boxes, in addition: nectarines

Wednesday: Amoro pumpkin, lettuce, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, parsley/coriander, eggplant, watermelon/melon. Small boxes only: Acorn squash, garlic/leeks/scallions

Large box, in addition: Fakus, corn, zucchini/cherry tomatoes, green string beans, butternut squash/Napoli pumpkin.

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, apricots, peaches.  Small boxes: watermelon. Large boxes: cherries.

June 11th-13th 2018 – Squish-Squash

This week your boxes include a get-acquainted sampler from the wonderful bakery Ish shel Lechem (A Man of Bread), a Chubeza associate. The “Man” is Iddo, Carol is his assistant, and together they bake excellent sourdough bread, cookies and granola. They’ve prepared a nice variety of their product for you to taste. You’ll love them! Check out their great website!

You can order Iddo’s amazing bread, cookies and granola via our order system. He also offers catering services. Contact Iddo for more details: ishelehem@gmail or search Facebook for “ishelehem”.

______________________________________________

Each year, the month of June brings a bevy of new vegetables, among them a wide array of tempting varieties of Chubeza squash and pumpkins. This ensemble comes in green, yellow, orange or beige, dotted and striped, smooth and coarse, round, elongated, pear-shaped, pine-cone shaped, sharp, flat, small and large, and even some in extra-large sizes. What a field day for the curcurbitas (Latin for “gourds”), all so beautiful and tasty!

This year we grew five different squash varieties, from the huge Tripolitanian pumpkin which can definitely serve as transportation for a shoeless princess, through the middle-sized Napolitano pumpkin, the familiar butternut squash, the oh-so-orange and textured Amoro squash, all the way to the compact, fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand green acorn squash. This variety is different outside and in, varying from yellow to salmon to dark orange, and in taste – a neutral gentle flavor, or nutty or sweet, and in texture: wet and juicy, dry and starchy or long and thin spaghetti-style.

Over the coming weeks you will be inundated with delightful small pumpkins coming almost every week. We remind you that you needn’t use them right away. We’d rather send them to you now, because here, crowded by the hundreds, they have so little breathing space. But in your homes, on your kitchen counter or in a wicker basket on the living room table, they’ll keep beautifully while enhancing your décor with a flair. If you keep them dry and ventilated, they’re good for another month or even two! If they start growing a thin spider-like web, just wipe it away with a dry cloth to prevent rotting.

The squash-trickle began over the past few weeks, starting with the butternut squash, a sliver of Napolitano pumpkin, a pair of green acorn squash and soon the Amoro will be gracing your boxes in its orange grandeur. After that – big mama – the immense Tripolitanian pumpkin that’ll remain with us all the way to winter.

The bigger and smaller pumpkins (also known as winter squash) as well as summer squash (including zucchini) belong to the same botanical category and even to the same species. The differentiation between squash and pumpkins is artificial, having to do with the stage at which they are picked and how they are used by human beings. All varieties are seeded (in an open field, in their natural season) from the end of winter/beginning of springtime, and they all grow from spring to summer.

We pick the “summer squash” early, before they ripen, when their shell is thin and their seeds are not developed, sometimes as early as 40 days after seeding. Since we pick the fruits off the plant before it had time to produce fertilized seeds, the plant makes additional attempts, yielding more and more seed-bearing fruit in order to fulfill its aim in plant-life (and animal-life): to spread its genes. Thus we are granted a long harvest season from a plant that just keeps on yielding. These squash do not keep for long, which is why in the past they were only eaten during their natural season, summertime, hence their name. Today, squash are also grown in wintertime in hothouses, so they aren’t really seasonal.

Pumpkins (large and small), however, are picked as they ripen and mature, when their shell is thick and hard and their seeds are quite large (and crackable). Since we wait till the ripening is complete, they are harvested three to five months from seeding day. Our Tripolitanian pumpkin is large, and often requires a wait of six months. Its hard shell allows it to keep nicely for several months, enabling it to be eaten in wintertime as well. This presents a particularly significant advantage in the pumpkin’s ancestral home of North America in those areas where it is too cold to grow food during winter. Pumpkins were easily stored in warehouses, offering sweetness and a summery zest to the cold wintery days. Hence their name – winter squash.

Here are some family members that you have already met this season:

The acorn squash originates in Mexico and the U.S. where Native Americans cultivated earlier species. The dark green type which we grow was introduced in 1913 and enthusiastically received, thanks to its excellent taste as well as its small size and thin shell, a source of relief for those battling the huge, hard pumpkins. In the U.S., and especially for those dining alone, it makes a good serving-for-one as well as a great stuffed vegetable.

The acorn squash really does taste delicious. Its skin is less moist than regular squash, and it has a sweet and nutty taste, which gave it the brilliant name “acorn squash.” Due to its sweetness, the acorn squash goes very well with piquant flavors – olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, as well as sweet flavors – a gentle brush of honey or date honey. The ridges lining the fruit make it somewhat difficult to peel, but the good news is that you really do not have to! It tastes great in its shell. And if you still need to eat this squash shell-less, remove the shell only after baking or cooking when it’s so much easier to slip off.

The acorn contains more vitamin C and calcium than other squash varieties, and less vitamin A. If you treat it kindly, it will keep for a few months, decorating your tabletop, but its flavor will ebb. So let it decorate your countertops for a week or two, and then whisk it straight to the oven and onto your plates!

דלוריתThe butternut squash was most likely developed in the 1940s by an amateur gardener (not a farmer or scientist) named Charles A. Leggett who was experimenting in species cultivation in a small quarter-acre garden near his house in Stow, Massachusetts. Eventually, Leggett took the fruit of his experiment to the nearby Waltham Field Station to show them what he’d developed. They loved it! He named his baby “butternut” because he thought it was smooth as butter and yummy as a nut. It arrived in Israel in the 1980s, and received the cutesy name “dalorit.

The butternut squash is usually fond of hot, humid tropical weather. More than her sisters, the butternut really can’t take cold weather, which is why it is the most popular of Israeli squash varieties. The first species of this type were chubby-looking (with seed-filled bellies) and had long, sometimes curved necks. Over the years, other variations were developed, some with chubby and shorter necks to provide a uniform vegetable demanded by the market. Like zucchini, butternuts can also be picked at an earlier stage, and they’re very tasty when young (some say even more than regular squash). They’re fun to grow in a home garden, where you can pick some to be used as summer squash and allow others to ripen till they become the genuine butternut.

The butternut’s smooth rind makes it easy to peel with just a regular vegetable peeler. It is sweet and its pulp becomes soft after cooking, although there are those who claim that baking makes it better. The butternut is very rich in vitamin A, and under good conditions can be kept for six months (but how could you resist?).

amoroThis next girlfriend, Amoro(whose name must have been coined by a love-struck fella or gal) is an orange, round and flat squash boasting a proud little rump. She belongs to a prominent group we already know: the Kabocha’s, or Japanese pumpkins (which some call Hokkaido).  Their defining characteristics are that they are all thick and lumpy on the outside, very hard to peel, and have relatively dry flesh.

Kabocha” is Japanese for any type of squash. The origin of the name comes from the squash’s journey from Mesoamérica to Japan. After the Spanish and Portuguese arrived in America and discovered the new fruits and vegetables of the land, they began distributing them at the next stops on their sailing itinerary. The squash probably arrived in Japan in the mid-16th century via Portuguese sailors who brought it from Cambodia. It was named Cambodia abóbora, which was eventually shortened to become kabocha. And thus, every squash in Japan is a kabocha, and that is what this little group is called.

Its orange flesh color testifies to its wealth of beta carotene (vitamin A), which supplies a generous quantity of iron, vitamin C and potassium. It is similar in taste to the small green acorn squash, but hard to carve, which is why it should be softened first by steaming or baking slightly (first punch holes in the rind to allow the steam to escape). Then it can be easily cut and seeded for you to proceed and prepare it to your liking.

What’s green on the outside, orange on the inside, cylinder-shaped and very long with pumpkin seeds? Meet the Napolitano squash! We have grown it for some years — it’s sweet and tasty and can be sliced widthwise into thick slices, a little like a loaf of bread…

This is a good old vintage squash which has not ceased to please despite the many years it’s been around. Napolitano is widely grown in Europe and Israel. It’s Italian in origin, as you may have already guessed (and as such can also be used as a gangster weapon when the need arises). It’s been around forever, appearing in the illustrated Vegetable Garden by Vilmorin dating back to 1856, which describes the popular vegetables of the era. Napolitano is well-loved in south Italy where it is cooked together with spicy pepper, eggplant, tomato, pears and plums in a seasonal soup called Giambotta, or fried and served with various dressings. The seeds are noshed on roasted and salted.

Its shape resembles a huge butternut squash – with a wide bottom and narrower bottleneck, but sometimes it can reach one meter in length! Napolitano weighs between 7-15 kg and the texture is similar to the butternut: smooth and more condensed than a regular pumpkin, with a gentle sweetness. Its inside looks like the butternut, with a thicket of fiber and seeds. If your slice landed up coming from the seed section, use them well, but if you received a piece of “neck,” this is seed-free. Both are super nice!

Wishing you a squash of flavor, and bon appetite!

Alon Bat Ami, Yochai, Dror and the Chubeza team

______________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Fakkus, butternut squash/acorn squash, lettuce/Swiss chard, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, New Zealand spinach, zucchini, onions/leeks/garlic, parsley/coriander/dill.

Large box, in addition: Corn, Napolitano squash, cherry tomatoes

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, plums, plums, nectarines, avocado.

Wednesday: Corn/eggplant, butternut squash/acorn squash, lettuce, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard, zucchini, leeks/garlic, parsley/coriander.

Large box, in addition: Fakkus, Napolitano squash, cherry tomatoes

FRUIT BOXES: Bananas, melon, grapes, apples.