miércoles, 11 de noviembre de 2009

the incredible, edible.... luffa?

Of how many plants can you say: it's EDIBLE, ORNAMENTAL, and.....
What appears to be your common vining squash is oh-so-much more.

I didn't believe it at first either.
Luffa sponge: in the tub.
Luffa squash? must be an unfortunate incident of coincidental nomenclature.

but no.

The luffa is widely renowned for its life post vine, after having matured into a fibrous seed pod, peeled, packaged, and marketed in your local pharmacy as an all-natural exfoliant.
Nobody talks much about the flavor, or the culinary uses of the reputed "sponge."
Luffa acutangula

In truth, luffa is also named Chinese okra, silk squash, and silk melon, amongst others and is a savored veggie in Asian cuisine.
I am also elated to report, after devastating failures with zucchini and yellow squash, that luffa is a tropical plant! It LOVES the heavy rain! thrives on relentless sun! i'm talking a vining potential of 20 ft and fruit up to 2 ft long!
In mere weeks, my luffa seeds sprouted, grew several inches, flowered, and have now produced fruit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Luffa connoisseurs recommend harvesting tiny 2'' long specimens in order to yield a tender, nutty flavor. As of today, i have only one developed squash, but i decided to give it a try as we are about to abandon the garden for a several week vacation. (By the time we return, i fear most squash will have become sponge-worthy!)

This is what i got:

Chopped, sauteed, and tossed in to my tortilla soup, I confess the elusive luffa evaded my taste buds. Hopefully in three weeks time there will still be delicate, edible squash to sample. if not, to scrub with?

Let them eat sponges!

6 comentarios:

Asheya dijo...

That's too funny! I totally want a luffa sponge from your plant!!! Your success with this plant almost makes me want to trying planting one...almost. My cultivating skills are well below par.

Live Simply Love Strongly dijo...

I follow a blog of a lady in Australia who has grown them for the luffahs(http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/) but I never knew that edible squash grew from them! Interesting!

Desiree dijo...

Thanks for the post it brings back memories of when I grew luffas in California. My vines were long and some of the squashes were 2 feet long. I soaked and peeled them. Some I cut and took out the seeds. Bleach some of them to become a uniform off white color and then cut for sponges. I still have a few luffas left 10 years later. I also have some pictures I will post on my blog someday....

Liz dijo...

Asheya you should try them, why not! I follow the australian lady too--she's amazing :) And Desiree, please post pics of your luffa! Did you also eat them??

Karen dijo...

And luffas are pretty easy to grow (if all your bugs don't get them. Hope you come back to lots and lots of babies to eat.

Would love to hear how you came to be in Nicaragua. I read your backposts but feel like I came in the middle of the story.

samia hussain dijo...

nice post