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Marina di Chiogga Squash
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This item was last sold on : 11/23/16
The Marina di Chioggia is considered a turban type squash as a result of its short squat shape. It is a medium to large variety, averaging ten to twelve pounds with a grayish blue-green skin. It is known for it's highly warted skin which is nearly completely covered in bumps known as “sugar warts” which are created from the buildup of extra sugars in the squash’s skin and flesh. Though it is hard to tell because of its lumpy exterior the Marina di Chioggia has ridges which makes for easier slicing when cut along the natural divisions in its skin. When mature the skin will be hardened to the point that it cannot be dented with a fingernail and the stem at the squashes cap will be semi-dry and brown. The inner flesh is a vivid yellow-orange color, and it surrounds a semi-hollow fibrous seed bank. Its flesh is dense, dry and sweet with nutty flavors that intensify with cooking.
The Marina di Chioggia squash is available in the fall and winter months.
The Marina di Chioggia is an Italian heirloom variety squash, and botanically classified as a member of Cucurbita maxima. Also known as Chioggia Sea pumpkin, it comes from the Italian seaside village of the same name, Chioggia. Its Venetian nicknames include Zucca Barucca and Zucca Santa which translates to mean “holy pumpkin.” A common squash in Italy it can be found there sold at markets and farm stands when in season. Additionally it is still today sold as a popular street food by vendors along the canals of Venice prepared simply sliced, grilled and salted.
The orange flesh of Marina di Chioggia is known to be high in beta-carotene which provides not only a valuable nutrient but also is responsible for the squash's vibrant coloring.
Marina di Chioggia is most commonly used in cooked applications and can be utilized in recipes wherever traditional pumpkin is called for. To cook it can be halved or cut into sections then baked, steamed, grilled, or roasted. The skin can be removed prior to cooking or after when the squash is softened and easier to peel. Cooked squash can be added to risotto, minestrone, sauces, and stews. Diced and roasted squash will complement warm salads, pasta preparations, or can be used as a topping for flatbreads. When cooked and pureed the Marina di Chioggia makes an ideal filling for ravioli and tortellini or can be added to gnocchi batter. It is also known to be an excellent dessert pumpkin and can be used in pies, tarts, muffins and quick breads. Its flavor pairs well with fennel, eggplant, radicchio, kale, onion, garlic, rosemary, basil, pine nuts, raisins, cinnamon, coriander, mustard powder, vinegar, sea salt, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. To store keep Marina di Chioggia squash in a cool, dry and dark place. An excellent keeper it can be stored up to three months. Use care to make sure the stem stays intact as if it should fall off the shelf life of the squash will be shortened significantly.
Marina di Chioggia has long been a squash staple in Venice, Italy where it is also known as Suca Braca (warty pumpkin) in the Venetian dialect. It is mentioned in plays written by the eighteenth century playwright, Carlo Goldoni. The cooked squash was traditionally found sold by street hawkers, who would walk through the town, carrying wooden planks on their shoulders piled high with hot roasted squash. The Marina di Chioggia squash is a signature ingredient in regional dishes such as gnocchi zucca and Venetian tortellini. It is also used in the traditional dish of saor de suca baruca or sweet and sour pumpkin which consists of Marina di Chioggia combined with white onions, pine nuts, raisins, white wine and vinegar.
Squash of Cucurbita maxima are believed to have made their way to Italy via South and Central America. By the late 1600s the unique looking Marina di Chioggia was known as a Venetian squash, a product no doubt of the climate and soil of the region. Its name was given after the seaport fishing village of Chioggia at the southern tip of Venice where it has long been popularly grown and sold. A culinary hub Chioggia and the Veneto region are famous for their seafood and squash as well as for a handful of famous radicchios (castelfranco, treviso, chiogga and verona). Due to its limited exposure and resulting lack of demand for it outside of Italy the Marina di Chioggia has not experienced the grand commercial success of other squash varieties. It can be found however in France, England and the United States grown by heirloom specialty growers as well as in home gardens.
Recipes that include Marina di Chiogga Squash. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Vegan Visitor||Marina Di Chioggia Gnocchi|