Cucuzza

In some parts of Italy, the word "cucuzza" is used to refer to squash in general. The flavor is a combination of summer squash and cucumber. Cucuzza is actually an edible gourd. It goes by many other names, including bottle gourd and calabash. This pale green vegetable can grow up to 3 feet long. The white, pulpy flesh has many seeds in the center, similar to a cucumber and has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. The cucuzza can be sliced and fried or sauteed, steamed or microwaved. The cucuzza makes a great addition to soups, stews, gumbos, quiches and sauces and can even be used in baked goods such as quick breads, muffins and pies.


Plural:

Cucuzza

Season:

July - December

How to select:

Avoid squash that looks shriveled or bruised; should be firm to the touch.

How to store:

Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 5 days. Cucuzza will deteriorate quickly if left out of refrigeration.

How to prepare:

Cucuzza tough skin needs to be peeled. If the seeds are tiny and tender, leave them in. If the seeds are well-developed, remove with a spoon or paring knife before cooking.

Matches well with:

curry, basil, oregano, chili powder, parsley, and garlic

Substitutions:

zucchini or yellow squash

Popular Cucuzza Recipes