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Ornamental Gourds: Edible Gourds?

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Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 5, 2009
3:05 AM

Post #7336646

As I was cracking open a few gourds for seed retrieval I ran across one that has flesh exactly like a spaghetti squash...and of course it got me wondering. Now don't freak out on me - I have absolutely no intention of putting anything questionable in my mouth, but it has me seriously wondering if any gourds ARE edible.

And now I'm really hungry for spaghetti squash.
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


December 5, 2009
10:03 PM

Post #7339206

Actually most are, Many are grown exclusively for food. Some cultivars of Lagenaria siceraria are used pretty exclusively as craft gourds. Of the 132 cultivars in Plantfiles maybe half of them. The craft gourds are edible, just not good quality for eating. The small colorful ornamental gourds are actually C. pepo squash, but not good quality for eating. Luffas both cylindical and angular are used both for crafts and as a vegetable. Momordica charantia (bitter gourd) and Benincasa hispida (wax gourd) are exclusively used as vegetables.
Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2009
3:28 AM

Post #7340364

What a wonderfully informative answer! I did some Googling and discovered that most ARE edible, but I wasn't able to find out which were the tasty ones. Thanks so much for responding.
roadrunner
Hereford, AZ
(Zone 8a)

December 22, 2009
2:54 PM

Post #7390455

I understand the edible part...but I sure don't think I want to eat any...I'd have to be awfully hungry...I have read that the louffa is good if eaten in the early stages. Jo
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 1, 2010
2:38 PM

Post #7416015

Lala, and RR, "Tromboncino" is delish, you should give it a try! This past year I grew "Cucuzzi" gourd, it is both edible as well as can be used for crafts. I seem to prefer the taste of tromboncino more than the cucuzzi but will give cucuzzi another try next year, just to give it another chance.

Happy New Year, All!!
Shoe
(Pic is of Cucuzzi)

Thumbnail by Horseshoe
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roadrunner
Hereford, AZ
(Zone 8a)

January 1, 2010
3:02 PM

Post #7416097

Shoe...You know I don't speak Latin!! They look like "snake" gourds to me...and I don't eat no snake! Thanks for the info though...and a Happy New year back atcha. Hugs Jo
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


January 1, 2010
4:07 PM

Post #7416412

The real snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina) is used exclusively as food. http://www.evergreenseeds.com/sngosgo.html. There is also a long skinny version of the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) this is the one used for crafts. Here are some of the tasty versions. http://www.evergreenseeds.com/calgouropo.html. The cucuzzi is a member of this group and is frequently sold as Italian squash or Italian snake gourd. http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS324US324&q=cucuzzi&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=4Bo-S5yHLYy1tgeTt4SQCQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CB4QsAQwAw. In addition to bitter gourds and wax gourds, there are the hairy gourds, a subspecies of Benincasa hispida http://www.evergreenseeds.com/hairgourfuzg1.html
For you crafty types, You may get some decorative ideas from this article. http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0503.htm#lagenaria
roadrunner
Hereford, AZ
(Zone 8a)

January 2, 2010
2:43 AM

Post #7418351

Thank you Farmerdill...I have one of the ones from New Guinea..a friend whos brother and sister are teachers in that country sends them to her and she sells them at gun shows...and send the money back for them to use at their schools...they are all from a family of missionarys. Jo

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