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Old March 4, 2017   #1
tarpalsfan
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Default Edible gourds instead of summer squash?

Has anyone tried edible snake gourd, Tambuli, Italian Edible, or other edible gourds, or maybe a long vine squash like Tatume? Or maybe luffa?
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Old March 4, 2017   #2
KC.Sun
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I'm growing bitter melon this year. I wanted to get something orangey ripe instead of green.

I've never grown the snake gourds or luffas. They are really good though.

Wintermelons are really good too.

I'm only growing Japanese squashes (kabocha type) and bitter melon this year for the squash category.
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Old March 5, 2017   #3
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I've eaten Luffa before. Wasn't bad, but not one of my favorites. They did have to be eaten when very small fruits. Once they start getting some size on them they starting to become sponges.

Not a crop I would grow for food really. Too many other good veggies out there.
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Old March 5, 2017   #4
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Yes we called them baseball bat squash because we didn't know they were a gourd.
Very tasty.
If I recall correctly they tasted like butter salt pepper and garlic.
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Old March 5, 2017   #5
tarpalsfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC.Sun View Post
I'm growing bitter melon this year. I wanted to get something orangey ripe instead of green.

I've never grown the snake gourds or luffas. They are really good though.

Wintermelons are really good too.

I'm only growing Japanese squashes (kabocha type) and bitter melon this year for the squash category.
I grew bittermelon in the past. Seed from both Evergreen and Baker Creek sometimes I got plants, most of the time I didn't. Last year I tried Baker Creek Green Skin Bittermelon again-I had 100% germination! I ate some raw(thin sliced) I also par-boiled it in salted water, then cooked it with onions, garlic, and tomatoes. I also nibbled the leaves and tendrils a little too. To me, it is more bitter cooked than raw. I did not let my bittermelon turn completely yellow before picking it though, except to sample the red pulp on the seeds!
I hope you have great success with you bittermelon this season!
.
Yes, the luffa are wonderful when young and tender. I love them.
.
The edible snake gourd is great too. Better even than Tambuli. I couldn't find fresh seed for it last season. I was buying the it from Ferry Morse. I found an old pack.
.
Again have fun growing you bitter-melon this year!
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Old March 5, 2017   #6
tarpalsfan
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I've eaten Luffa before. Wasn't bad, but not one of my favorites. They did have to be eaten when very small fruits. Once they start getting some size on them they starting to become sponges.

Not a crop I would grow for food really. Too many other good veggies out there.
I guess it depends on what we like. Luffa, esp. the long ridged is one of my favorite vegetables. But I sure agree with you on one thing-no I can't depend on luffa as a food crop. Last season 4 plants made more luffa than I could keep up with-but most years, I will get vines but no luffa. Sighs, the only thing I can really depend on is purslane! lol! But I only stand so much of it
anyway, thanks for the reply!
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Old March 5, 2017   #7
tarpalsfan
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Yes we called them baseball bat squash because we didn't know they were a gourd.
Very tasty.
If I recall correctly they tasted like butter salt pepper and garlic.
Gasp! That sounds so very good! It is a long while until we get squash, gourds, even a tomato! Oh well!
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Old March 5, 2017   #8
Zeedman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
Yes we called them baseball bat squash because we didn't know they were a gourd.
Very tasty.
If I recall correctly they tasted like butter salt pepper and garlic.
In other words, the only flavor was what you added to them?

Haven't figured out how to multi-quote here...

"I'm growing bitter melon this year. I wanted to get something orangey ripe instead of green."

They should only be eaten when green. The red pulp around the ripe seeds is edible though (but not the seeds themselves). Super productive here, I give away buckets full to Filipino friends. Really good bee plant too, and fragrant when in bloom.

The Italian edible gourd Cucuzzi is good, and is edible until fairly large (at which point they might become that "baseball bat squash"). The younger 'squash' (1-2" wide) can be peeled & cooked like zucchini; medium-large squash can be peeled & cored. Once the gourds stop growing, they begin to get fibrous. Night pollinated, so sometimes fruit set can be iffy... but if pollinators are present, very productive.
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Old March 5, 2017   #9
txtstorm
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I've been growing cucuzza for several years now instead of squash. The vine borers here are awful and they don't touch cucuzza or luffa. You do have to have a place for the huge plants to grow, but they're pretty self sufficient once they establish. I grow luffa in the yard along a chain link fence with little to no amendment or care.

One drawback to growing these for food is that they don't produce too well until the Fall. They might put out a little in the Spring/early Summer, but production seems much better when the days get shorter.

Cucuzza is wonderful when picked small and used like zucchini. You can use the young leaves and grow tips as a green during the summer. A friend of mine makes a killer soup with the gourd and leaves. Luffa you really have to pick young. It gets very fibrous kind of quickly.

Good luck!
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Old March 6, 2017   #10
tarpalsfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeedman View Post
In other words, the only flavor was what you added to them?

Haven't figured out how to multi-quote here...

"I'm growing bitter melon this year. I wanted to get something orangey ripe instead of green."

They should only be eaten when green. The red pulp around the ripe seeds is edible though (but not the seeds themselves). Super productive here, I give away buckets full to Filipino friends. Really good bee plant too, and fragrant when in bloom.

The Italian edible gourd Cucuzzi is good, and is edible until fairly large (at which point they might become that "baseball bat squash"). The younger 'squash' (1-2" wide) can be peeled & cooked like zucchini; medium-large squash can be peeled & cored. Once the gourds stop growing, they begin to get fibrous. Night pollinated, so sometimes fruit set can be iffy... but if pollinators are present, very productive.
I did not always peel the edible snake gourd, when I did I used a vegetable peeler. It was easy. Also, while I did cook some of the gourd, I also ate more than a little raw.
.
I grew bitter melon last season, I loved the delicate , little yellow flowers.
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Old March 6, 2017   #11
TessSR
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They are all edible when young, even the leaves and flowers. Some skin are think and soft but turn tough when cooked. I open used the young tender loofah and opo squash, skinned and suateed with garlic and onions. Sometimes used in soup.
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Old March 6, 2017   #12
KC.Sun
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You can actually eat bitter melon when it's ripe. I want the ripe fruits because I like the taste of them when cooked. We cook them in a pressure cooker with ribs and never have enough to eat. It's hard to come by the ripe ones because it can rot easily. The ripeness I'm after is when the colors changes from green to orange. But not orange and so ripe that it falls apart when picking it. We don't eat the seeds. We've always scooped them out and discarded them.

Also delicious in teas by itself or with some goji berries boiled with it.

How many bitter melon plants do you usually grow? I'm wondering if 4 plants will be enough. Usually we use about 15lbs of bitter melon to prepare the dish with ribs. It feeds about 5 people.

Is it a productive plant?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeedman View Post
In other words, the only flavor was what you added to them?

Haven't figured out how to multi-quote here...

"I'm growing bitter melon this year. I wanted to get something orangey ripe instead of green."

They should only be eaten when green. The red pulp around the ripe seeds is edible though (but not the seeds themselves). Super productive here, I give away buckets full to Filipino friends. Really good bee plant too, and fragrant when in bloom.

The Italian edible gourd Cucuzzi is good, and is edible until fairly large (at which point they might become that "baseball bat squash"). The younger 'squash' (1-2" wide) can be peeled & cooked like zucchini; medium-large squash can be peeled & cored. Once the gourds stop growing, they begin to get fibrous. Night pollinated, so sometimes fruit set can be iffy... but if pollinators are present, very productive.
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Old March 6, 2017   #13
tarpalsfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TessSR View Post
They are all edible when young, even the leaves and flowers. Some skin are think and soft but turn tough when cooked. I open used the young tender loofah and opo squash, skinned and suateed with garlic and onions. Sometimes used in soup.
Hi
Why do I have to peel the Opo? The young gourds I grow for vegetables are very tender, even the skin is edible. I only peel it if I can't cook it soon after picking. I do pick it while I can still pierce the skin with a fingernail. About 8" to 10" long.
.
I tried some bitter-melon leaf and tendril(raw) But forgot to try Edible Snake or the Tambuli gourd leaves, I will this season. If I grow it.
.
I also grew a Hybrid edible gourd-but it was just called Hybrid Opo Short. Sort of generic name.

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Old March 6, 2017   #14
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Normal luffa is very good, strong for many people. Ridged luffa, which is another species is much milder and a great vegetabke.

Gourds can be quite good too.

Tatume is a very good summer squash.
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Old March 6, 2017   #15
TessSR
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If they are fingernail soft, you don't have to skin the opo squash. Some gourd skin tends to get toughter when cooked. I don't what kind, but I had one before that about half was just wasted after cooking as my kids don't want the tough skin. The opo squash skin is so tender, you don't even see or feel the skin when cooked.

It depends on what kind of bitter melon you are growing. There are some very prolific variety that you will only need 2-3 to grow to harvest a lot. If you use that much bittermelon, I would say plant several more.

I hardly cooked bittermelon. I pickle it with garlic, shalot, vinegar and black pepper. I hardly use salt with it. I read that the salt is what induce the bitter taste. So if must use a salt, use at the end of cooking. But you said you always cook with it, so you're a pro in cooking it

I'm sorry, I'm new here and still don't know how to navigate post, reply and quote.

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Hi
Why do I have to peel the Opo? The young gourds I grow for vegetables are very tender, even the skin is edible. I only peel it if I can't cook it soon after picking. I do pick it while I can still pierce the skin with a fingernail. About 8" to 10" long.
.
I tried some bitter-melon leaf and tendril(raw) But forgot to try Edible Snake or the Tambuli gourd leaves, I will this season. If I grow it.
.
I also grew a Hybrid edible gourd-but it was just called Hybrid Opo Short. Sort of generic name.

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