Inventory, 40 lbs : 0
Turban squash is medium to large in size, averaging 25-38 centimeters in diameter and weighing about five pounds, and is lopsided, round, and irregularly shaped. At its blossom end is a turban-like cap that gathers in the center and then expands out to a bulbous base. The thin, smooth rind ranges in color from mottled green, orange, red, to yellow or striped, and a single squash often displays all of these colors on the turban cap. The fine-textured orange flesh is dense and firm with a central cavity filled with stringy pulp and flat, cream-colored seeds. When cooked, Turban squash has a floury texture that is mild to sweet depending upon variety.
Turban squash is available in the late summer through winter.
Turban squash, botanically classified as Cucurbita maxima, is an heirloom variety that grows on sprawling vines that can reach up to 2-3 meters in length and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family along with pumpkins and gourds. Turban squash encompasses a group of winter squashes known for their turban-like cap or acorn on the blossom end, and these squashes are predominately used as an ornamental to showcase its bright colors, patterns, and unusual shape. There are many varieties of Turban squash including Turk’s Turban, French Turban, Mexican hat, Turk’s Cap, American Turban, and Marina di Chioggia.
Turban squash is an excellent source of vitamin A and is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, fiber, potassium, and beta-carotene.
Turban squash is best suited for cooked applications such as baking, steaming, and roasting. The large size and unique shape of the Turban squash are somewhat difficult to cut. Typically, the acorn-like protrusion is sliced off first, and then both the turban and the base are cut into wedges or cubes. The squash can also be cooked with the skin on or off, but the skin is ultimately inedible and must be removed before consuming. The cut squash can then be cooked and used whole as an accompaniment to meats and vegetable mains, or pureed and added to soups, stews, and sauces as a thickener. It can also be cubed and used in chili, stir-fries, green salads, and quinoa salads. Turban squash pairs well with pear, apple, chard, corn, kale, celery, carrots, mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, nutmeg, cardamom, brown sugar, butter, cream, melting and hard cheeses, toasted nuts, tahini dressing, sausage, ground beef, bacon, and roasted chicken. It will keep for a couple of weeks when stored whole and uncut in a cool, dry place. Care should be taken not to damage the cap as it is the most delicate part of the Turban squash and where rot is most likely first to occur. Once cut, it is best to wrap the cut pieces in plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
The Turban squash was known in France as Giraumon Turban and images of it can be found in Vilmorin-Andrieux’s famous album of illustrations, Les Plantes Potagères. A reprint book of the illustrations uses a close-up of the Turban squash featured on plate No. 23 originally illustrated in 1871 as the book’s cover photo.
Turban squash was first mentioned in the 1818 publication of Le Bon Jardinier, which is a French encyclopedia. Before 1818, there were turban shaped cultivars, such as the French Turban, but its flavor was bland and texture watery, so it was predominantly used as an ornamental. This French Turban, however, would go on to be a parent along with the hubbard, acorn, and autumnal marrow to the American Turban in the early nineteenth century, which offered a much more desirable flavor and texture. Today Turban squash can be found at specialty grocers and farmers markets in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Recipes that include Turban Squash. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Desert Candy||Nutty Pumpkin Dip|
|Paleo Leap||Turban Squash Soup|
|Sports-Glutton||Smoked and Spicy Stuffed Turks Turban Squash|