Community Philosphy Blog and Library

HOMEGROWN Life: “What is That Thing?”






“What is that?”

We get asked that question a lot from customers stopping by our farmer’s market booth.  It’s a constant inquiry with a variable answer, depending on whatever wares we’ve got for sale.

For this particular Homegrown post, the answer is “cucuzza.”

Cucuzza is a gourd; an enormous, long, baseball-bat sized, Italian gourd that grows in the summer and tastes somewhat similar to zucchini, but sweeter.

The skin is tough, so it’s best to peel it away before cooking, but otherwise cucuzza can be treated just like zucchini: You can bake it, fry it, roast it, sauté it, steam it… the list goes on.

One of our favorite preparations is to use cucuzza in soup.  It’s great in vegetable or chicken soups, for example.  Dice it or cube it, throw it in a pot to simmer, and you’ll see it retains its shape while taking on a jewel-like translucent green appearance.  I swear it gives our soups a certain umami-kick that cucuzza-free soups seem to lack, and I love it so much that in years past, I’ve gotten mad at my husband for selling the squashes to restaurants.

Our Cucuzza, 2009

Thankfully for our customers this year, we’ve grown many more plants and it looks like we’ll have plenty of cucuzza to share.


“I’m half of YellowTree Farm, an urban homestead that I founded with my husband in late 2008.  Together, we grow vegetables and raise animals on less than 1/10 of an acre in St. Louis, Missouri.  I don’t have children.  I have animals, which is kind of the same thing as being a parent, except I eat my babies.”

2 Responses to “HOMEGROWN Life: “What is That Thing?””

  1. Wow …this would so work in my tiny urban homestead where the only space I have vacant is vertical.
    Seed source please.

    ~~ pelenaka ~~

  2. Jealous of your lovely prolific squash! The squash looks so happy as it climbs! Definitely need to try this method. Yay for bringing new vegetables back into the public consciousness too.

    There is a Bangladeshi gardener in our neighborhood who grows a ridiculous amount of squash using someone’s fence and tree as a trellis… he gets pounds and pounds of produce off of just a foot of soil. Peppers and jute plants are at the base of the squash. Photos are here:

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