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RE: [pfaf] Re: calabaza [was Squash "cheese"]

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  • Davidoff, Lorraine
    I have been reading the calabaza discussion. Calabaza is a generic term for pumpkin in Spanish, and includes all pumpkins. In the area of central Mexico
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 12, 2007
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      I have been reading the "calabaza" discussion. Calabaza is a generic
      term for "pumpkin" in Spanish, and includes all pumpkins. In the area
      of central Mexico where I lived for about 8 years, they used it very
      generically for squashes.

      ________________________________

      From: pfaf@yahoogroups.com [mailto:pfaf@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Dan Culbertson
      Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 11:14 AM
      To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [pfaf] Re: calabaza [was Squash "cheese"]




      > OK, I was wondering about the difference between calabaza and
      > Seminole pumpkin. Apparently this one is the calabaza.

      Seminole pumpkin *used to be* considered the small fruited variety of
      pumpkin/squash that was six inches or so in diameter and the calabasa
      was
      the bigger fruited ones from Cuba. But these days I'm not really sure
      there
      is much difference except maybe in the route the genes took to get here.

      Depending on what you call "native," the pure Seminole variety (if you
      can
      really find it) is either native to Florida or native to central America

      and brought to Florida before European settlement. The calabasa
      apparently
      came here at a later date via the tropical islands south of us. But now
      there appear to be many crosses between the two and named varieties in
      each
      category and some confusion among gardenrs as to which is which. Some
      "butternut" varieties are also thrown into the mix and the one "tan
      cheese"
      that I grew a long time ago seemed even then to be pretty much a part of
      the
      same range so I'm not sure if there is any real distinction between a
      "cheese" variety and all the other "tropical" ones -- though cheese and
      butternut are not usually considered "tropical." Even a couple of "field

      pumpkins" also come from the same parent species, Cucurbita moschata,
      and I
      believe they all cross fertilize very readily with each other. I've seen

      up-north catalog descriptions and pictures of "tan cheese" varieties
      that
      look identical to the Seminole and calabasa. The Seminole and calabasa
      varieties I've grown have been very resistant to mildew and squash vine
      borers but other people in this same area have told me they have lots of

      problems with both. Maybe there is a lot of variation in pest and
      disease
      resistance as well and I've just been lucky. Or maybe their saved seed
      was
      contaminated with genes from the less tropical varieties like C.
      moschata
      field pumpkins which are also occasionally grown near here. Anyhow, ECHO

      technical network lists some named varieties of Seminole and calabasa
      (below) but they don't seem to sell them as separate varieties in their
      U.S.
      seed store (google on ECHO book store seeds to find the seed store). All

      of mine have taken longer than 90 to 110 days to bear and ripen fruit so
      I
      don't know about the validity of the days to maturity quoted.

      Dan

      Cucurbita moschata
      Seminole Pumpkin
      Seminole: Vigorous vines (up to 3 m), native to Florida, smaller fruits.
      The
      vines will grow widely spreading along the surface of the ground,
      rooting at
      nodes, or they may be trellised. The flesh can be baked, fried, boiled,
      mashed, dried, and used in pies. Seeds can be roasted and eaten. Fruits
      fed
      as forage for cattle. Soil pH: 4.5-8.3.

      Acorn: 90 days; small acorn shaped fruit; pale orange outside with dark
      orange flesh.

      Crookneck: 90 days; large number of oblong pumpkins; light orange with
      orange flesh.

      Ingram Billie: 90 days; large number of small pumpkins; variable fruit
      size;
      hardy performer.

      Hardy: 90 days; produces a large number of pumpkins; oblong in shape;
      orange
      skin with orange flesh.

      Seminole Tropical Mix: A mix of all Seminole pumpkin varieties currently
      in
      the seed bank.

      Tropical Pumpkin/Calabaza
      These pumpkins originated in tropical South or Central America. This
      crop is
      similar to Seminole pumpkin in how it is cultivated and processed for
      food.
      Soil pH: 4.5-8.3.

      La Primera: 110 days; large round fruits; commercial cultivar in
      Florida;
      orange skin with light orange flesh.

      Tahitian Butternut: 110 days; large necked fruit; orange skin with dark
      orange flesh.

      Tropical Pumpkin Mix: A mix of the above two varieties.






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dan Culbertson
      Yes - the generic Spanish word makes it even more confusing sometimes - especially if you are looking at websites in spanish-speaking countries. Probably
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 12, 2007
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        Yes - the generic Spanish word makes it even more confusing sometimes -
        especially if you are looking at websites in spanish-speaking countries.
        Probably "Tropical Pumpkin" would be the best common English name for those
        Cucurbita moschata varieties that are now in North America but imported from
        tropical climates. I'm still not sure that the "tan cheese" varieties of C.
        moschata are the same as the Seminole Pumpkin varieties but the Tropical
        Pumpkins usually called "calabaza" in Florida are a tad different - they
        have less of the tan and are more varied in skin colors (some are sort of
        speckled). Still pretty similar but I *think* there might legitimately be
        two classes - the "tan cheese" class, which includes the so-called Seminole
        Pumpkin from North Florida and is a slightly more northern-clime type of
        plant, and the "Tropical Pumpkin" which is still C. moschata but adapted to
        more southern climes. It would be nice if there was a geneticist PhD
        student out there who wanted to get a thesis from clearing up the
        relationships of the whole C. moschata tribe. Be an interesting study I'd
        think. My own gestimate, just from my experience and from looking at the
        catalog pictures and such, is that all the Tan Cheese ones came to North
        America through Mexico prior to European settlement and the "Tropical
        Pumpkin" ones came here more recently through the ethnic food trade.
        Haven't the foggiest if the "Tahittian Butternut" or "Tahittian Melon
        Squash" actually came from Tahitti. The regular butternut looks a lot more
        like the Tan Cheese color than Tropical Pumpkin so I suspect they might be
        just a form of that class or maybe they are all in a third class of their
        own. A most confusing tribe of pumpkin/squashes!

        By the way, for those who don't know it, the story about Seminole Pumpkin is
        that when the Spanish explorers came through North Florida they saw trees
        with ripe pumpkins hanging on them and thought they were a new type of tree
        that fruited pumpkins. Supposedly what they really saw were oaks that had
        been girdled so they died and pumpkin plants planted at the base so they
        grew up into the tree as if it were a trellis. I don't know how true that
        story is - every time I try to get Seminole Pumpkins to grow up a tree (dead
        or otherwise) the vines just fall to the ground and run along it like a
        normal pumkin plant. So I have my doubts. Neat story though.

        Dan

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Davidoff, Lorraine" <jdavidoff@...>
        To: <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:48 AM
        Subject: RE: [pfaf] Re: calabaza [was Squash "cheese"]


        >I have been reading the "calabaza" discussion. Calabaza is a generic
        > term for "pumpkin" in Spanish, and includes all pumpkins. In the area
        > of central Mexico where I lived for about 8 years, they used it very
        > generically for squashes.
        >
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