Pumpkin story. (It will be a little long,,,)

XNUMX years living in Mexico,

“Showing the true face of Mexico to the world!'

with the motto

I'm Kou Iwasaki, a professional Mexican travel guide and driver.

I am writing from Mexico today.

☝☝☝Chilacayote, one of the five types of pumpkins grown in Mexico.
Sweets made by sweetening it.

 

Pumpkin in Spanish is commonlycalabasa(Calabaza)Is called.

Today there are XNUMX species of calabasa in the world,

XNUMX of them are used for food.

Because it is a crop of the Cucurbitaceae family,

It is also related to melons, watermelons, cucumbers, winter melons, loofahs, and so on.

 

Mexico is the world's largest producer of calabasa.

Its annual production is XNUMX tons.

Speaking of Japan, where people often eat pumpkins,

It ranks fourth in the world with XNUMX tons, less than half that of Mexico.

 

The so-called pumpkin varieties in Japan are

Calabaza Kabosha (cha) in Spanish

It is also exported to Japan.

 

Corn is one of the most important foodstuffs in Mexico.

In realityCalabasa (pumpkin) has the longest history of cultivation.What is it?

 

そ し て,

Most pumpkins eaten in the world today are

Originating from the variety Cucurbita cultivated in Mesoamerica (the area where Mexico is today)Hm.

 

that year,

with archaeological evidencefrom XNUMX

XNUMX years ago (XNUMX-XNUMX BC)It is a thing.

 

In other words,

The human relationship with pumpkins

Originating in Mesoamerica (now Mexico)It is

 

currently in mexicoFive species of Calabasa cultivatedIt is done.

CucurbitaIt is a breed called

The feature is that the fruit is large,

It is to get a lot of seeds.

This seed is used in MexicoPepitaHowever,

This helped people live.

 

There are a total of XNUMX species of CucurbitaNative to the Americasso,

XNUMX of these are grown in Mexico todayIt is done.

 

Pepita isrich in proteinso,

And above allIt kept well.

☝☝☝Pepita (pumpkin seeds)

☝☝☝Pepita with the shell removed.You can grind it or eat it as it is.
I'm writing this while munching on this now (laughs)

 

At that time, there were no containers for storing pottery etc.

Things that can be preserved are usefulSo it is.

In that sense, chili peppers were also a crop that could be preserved.

 

Therefore, Calabasa

as a sacred crop

Even in the city ruins influenced by the Olmec, the oldest culture in Mesoamerica,

depicted in engraving.

 

Calabasa (pumpkin), one of the earliest cultivated plants in Mesoamerica.

But in Mexico

like eating in japanLarge mature calabasas do not eat muchHm.

 

The most commonly eaten

In immature calabasa,

in mexicoCalabacitaIt is called.

in JapanzucchiniI think it is known as

☝☝☝Calabacita Zucchini
A yellow flower blooms at the tip.

☝☝☝Inside the carabazita (zucchini)

as its name suggests,

I'm immature and small.

 

I wrote that there are five varieties of calabasa in Mexico,

The most eaten calabashita (zucchini) is

The main variety is Cucurbita Pepo.

ThereforeThis species also produces the mostHm.

and this variety

First brought to Europe from Mesoamerica by the Spaniards

It is also the breed that started growing first in Spain and spread to Europe.

 

and Calabasa'sflower.

in spanishFlor de calabazaIt's called.

☝☝☝Calabaza (Pumpkin) Flower (Flor de calabaza)

This is also my favourite.

Beautiful, bright yellow flowers

It doesn't have a particular taste, but

I often make quesadillas for breakfast.

☝☝☝ Quesadilla with Pumpkin Flowers (Flor de Calabasa)

 

Depending on the variety,

on one vine,

XNUMX-XNUMX flowers bloom.

calabasa flowers

In general, the scent of flowers is light,

It is useful because it is easy to cook.

From late May to early June,

It blooms from late August to early October.

Rich in vitamins and amino acidsBecause

It's good for your body too.

 

And I can't miss Mexican food,

Calabasa seeds.

PepitaIs called.

Pepita itself is thin but has a hard shell,

peel off the shell.There is a greenish fruit inside.

Grind this with sesame etc.Pipian

Is called.

Use this as a source,

There are dishes that you can eat with chicken etc.

This is literally called Pipian.

It is an indispensable ingredient for moles.

☝☝☝Pepita roasted in a frying pan and ground with sesame seeds for leaks

☝☝☝After grinding

☝☝☝Pipian.The black ones are beans.

 

Every Calabasa has seeds,

The most abundant and largest pepitas (seeds) are

Cucurbita PipianaIt can be obtained from the cultivar

this isnative to mexicoIt has been confirmed.

The seeds of XNUMX B.C.

Found in Tamaurimas State.

Pepita (seed) is XNUMX% protein,

It was also a valuable source of protein.

 

after,

Pepita is often eaten as a snack.

(What I'm eating now. The photo at the beginning)

Whole shell roasted with salt,

like peanuts,

I peel off the shell with my hands and eat it.

Alternatively, they also sell shelled ones.

 

When it comes to mature fruit,

In fact, strangely, it is rarely seen in Mexican cuisine!

Simmered pumpkin and tempura are the best, but...

While thinking that it's a waste,

It's not zero at all.

 

The only good example is the

It's sweets.

It's candied.

Frutus cristarisadas in Mexico

(Frutas cristalizadas)

It's called.

Candied nopal (cactus)

☝☝☝Kalabasa (pumpkin) in honeydew

 

Harvesting of mature calabasa takes place between October and November each year.

 

Sugar cane was brought to Mesoamerica by the Spaniards.

Originally, in Mesoamerica, calabasa and sweetened fruit did not exist,

Developed by sugar brought by the Spaniards.

When I go to a market or an open-air bath,

Fruits and pumpkins that look really sweet,

I often see sweet potato candied for sale.

 

In Japan, there are sweet boiled vegetables such as kumquats, figs, sweet potatoes, and young peaches.

in Mexico,

calabasa (pumpkin),

Chilacayote, a kind of calabasa,

sweet potato,

fig,

Apple,

tuna (cactus fruit),

pineapple,

Orange,

lime,

bananas, etc.

Various fruit candies are made.

 

I'll talk about Frutus Christarisadas for another day.

 

flowers, fruits, seeds and

Calabasas on the Mexican table

It's a crop that can't be done from the old days to the present day.

 

More thanCarabaSa (Calabaza)but,

CarabaSo (Calabaz)There is also something called

 

This is not a Cucurbita species,

Another variety, but

It's called a gourd.

JicaraHowever,

made of gourdDeviceAnd

tool for weighingUsed as

During the Mexican Empire (often referred to as the Aztecs), it was used to measure gold and pigments for annual tributes.

It's similar to how the sho was used to measure rice in Japan.

 

This gourd is long and thin depending on the type,

When making the famous sake called Pulque,

The sap (aguamiel) that accumulates in the maguey (raw material for tequila, etc.)

It was used as a tool (Akokote) for sucking out.

 

like this,

Calabasa (pumpkin)

The oldest cultivated crop in Mesoamerica (now Mexico)And

Inhabited Mesoamerica for thousands of years, tens of thousands of years ago,

Over time, it has become an indispensable crop for the lives of modern Mexicans.