Re: [pfaf] Re: calabaza [was Squash "cheese"]
- 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.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Davidoff, Lorraine" <jdavidoff@...>
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.