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Colinky squash is small to medium in size, averaging 16-18 centimeters in length and is round, oblong, to tear-drop shape with a thin, light brown stem. The bright, lemon yellow skin is smooth, edible, and there are shallow vertical, pale yellow grooves running the length of the squash. The flesh is also faint yellow and moist with many small, flat seeds. Colinky squash is tender and juicy with a sweet and earthy flavor.
Colinky squash is available in the late spring and throughout the summer in Japan.
Colinky squash is a unique variety of winter squash that is botanically a member of Cucurbita maxima and was the result of a cross between a red kuri pumpkin and a numbered Australian pumpkin variety. Colinky squash was created in Japan and is harvested in the summer when it is still very young and tender. Also known as a Western pumpkin and a Salad pumpkin, various spellings of the name Colinky are used such as Kolinkey and Kolynkie, and the Colinky squash is predominately known for its use in raw dishes.
Colinky squash is high in vitamins A and C, fiber, and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of potassium, folate, copper, and vitamin B2.
Colinky squash is best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as sautéing or stir-frying. Ideal for raw applications, Colinky squash can be thinly sliced or shredded and added to salads with other vegetables and spices to create a crisp, cool dish. It can also be peeled, cut into cubes, and sprinkled lightly with salt as a snack. In addition to raw preparations, Colinky squash can be cubed and added stir-fries, soups, or risotto. In Tokyo, Colinky squash is battered in tempura and fried, used in fast pickles or kimchi, and soaked soy sauce for an added salty flavor. Colinky squash pairs well with hemp seeds, cucumber, peanut butter, honey, vinegar, miso, maqaw pepper, pickled pineapple, and smoked salmon. It will keep up to a week when stored in a cool and dark place.
Colinky squash has made an appearance on the menus of popular vegan restaurants in Tokyo, Japan, where it is featured in cold lentil dishes and other raw salads. This unique squash variety is loaded with nutritional properties and can be consumed raw, which is a favorable preparation for vegetarian and vegan diets.
Colinky squash was developed in Japan in 2001 by the Sakata Seed Company, a well-known breeder and developer, and was created for its tender flesh and use in raw applications. In 2002, it was introduced to the Japanese market in the Yamagata prefecture, in northern Japan. Today, Colinky squash is only grown in Japan and is available at local markets.