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smashing pumpkins

One of the many stories I remember from reading Barbara Kingsolver's fabulous book, Animal Vegetable Miracle, was the tale of  traveling in Italy and discovering an ugly and warty but delicious pumpkin, Marina di Chioggia. An old Italian heirloom variety.  Always one to seek out tasty heirloom varieties for my garden, I sought some seeds for myself.  No easy task, but eventually I found a supplier of the warty ones.  

Ten seeds arrived and after sowing them all, five plants survived.  What an incredible sprawling plant the pumpkin is, with massive leaves, curly tendrils and hiding under those umbrella like foliage, the odd green globe treasure.  Rabbits, possums and weeds prevented us from a massive crop, but each plant gave us at least one, if not two pumpkins, of this type called a turban.  As an immature fruit they have a smooth lime green skin and I was concerned that they'd sent the wrong seeds as there was no sign of any wartiness.  But a quick google of the words "immature marina di chioggia image" came up trumps and allayed my fears:: we were on track for some warty goodness. Thank heavens for the internet. 
They are a delicious pumpkin with a sweet golden flesh.   I'm hoping to save the seeds and plant some more next year.  But I should have some spare seeds:: would you like some?  I can't promise they will be viable but let me know if you'd like a few seeds and I can share the warty goodness. 

I think we'll try to make pumpkin gnocchi on the weekend, with brown butter, crisp sage leaves and some pecorino. I'll let you know how we go, warts and all.   


  1. They look great, I'd love a few seeds to try. We have grown turk turbans previously and they were only OK eating but I ended up selling some to a florist (not something I sought out to do, just through word of mouth).

    Yum Cha in Hobart....there is Mee Wah in Sandy Bay (where I ate recently), very good but alas not a trolley in site (all ordered from the menu).

    Less pricey and much better if you want to take kids along (also funny in a daggy way) is Castle Zayee in Lenah Valley.

    Just don't go with really high expectations!

  2. you are too too clever! i'd love some seeds but we dont have the space to grow pumpkins, sadly. wish we had more land...good luck cooking them up!

  3. Me, please! They look wonderful. Fingers crossed Molly wont rip them out like she has done the last few butternuts in the garden this year...

  4. Yes please to the seeds, we'd love some. We really want to start a community garden, or failing that, a little co-op of people who grow different things and swap, but perhaps we can just start with seeds (not that I've got anything to swap in return just yet, but I'll remember you when I do!!).