Monday, August 20, 2012

Long of Naples Squash

Last Friday I went to visit my dad, who lives on a small farm near Hardy, Arkansas.  That night we drove over to Thayer, Missouri where there is an auction every Friday night from 5:00 to 8:30.  I've been hearing about this auction for years; my father is a regular, both selling and buying.  Well, let me tell you:  it was fabulous.  They sold everything from produce to power tools, from jelly to air conditioners.  And the prices!  We bought a brand-new 10" Ryobi table saw, with stand and dust bag for $100.  My son was ecstatic.

What does this have to do with Long of Naples Squash?  When we walked in, sitting on a table were two of the biggest vegetables I've ever seen:

Can you believe it?  The auctioneer called it a Naples Squash.  He said it had meat like a sweet potato and that the lady in the concession stand had made a wonderful squash pie.  By the time I got to the stand, the pie was gone, boo hoo.  You can see how big it is - it weighed about 45 pounds and it sold for $15.  Now I wish I'd bought one!

After I got home I did a little research.  The actual name is Long of Naples Squash (C. moschata.)  It's an Italian heirloom squash, rare in the United States.  The seeds are all at one end, leaving the rest of the squash total meat.
Is this not totally cool?  I told the lady in the concession stand to save the seeds and bring them to the auction and I asked my dad to keep an eye open for them.  But they're commercially available (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, for one), so that's my backup.  

Can you just taste a squash soup made with this delicious looking vegetable?  Yum!

By the way, this same auction owner does an auction twice a week in Jonesboro, AR - only about an hour from here.  I highly recommend trying it sometime!

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