Wednesday, 27 May 2020
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That’s one long zucchini

Is it a pumpkin, a squash or a zucchini?

The answer is all of the above and none of the above.

Squash, pumpkins and zucchinis all belong to the same family - Cucurbitaceae - and pumpkins and zucchini are both types of squash.

Is it a fruit or a vegetable?

The answer is that it is both. 

In a culinary context, the zucchini is a vegetable. Botanically, zucchinis are a fruit, a type of botanical berry called a ‘pepo’, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.

The Climbing Tromboncino Zucchini has pumpkins and squash in its make-up, bears features of pumpkins, squash and zucchini but is probably more a pumpkin than a squash even though it carries the common name of zucchini.

Confused?

Really, the answer to whether it is a pumpkin, a squash or a zucchini is only of interest to the geneticists. 

Wayne Truloff is holding the biggest zucchini he has harvested - it measured 1.3 metres long and weighed 5kg.

To the gardener, the only things of interest is can it be grown easily and is it sweet rather than bitter to the taste and is it a flavoursome vegetable.

The long neck of the Climbing Tromboncino Zucchini is seedless. The seeds are found in chambers in the bulbous base of the fruit.

Wayne Truloff from Hoya can attest to the ease with which it grows in this climate and its full-bodied zucchini-like flavour.

Wayne bought some seed online after his son prompted him to watch a segment of the ABC series Gardening Australia.

“The seeds are not common ones and are unlikely to be found in the local shops,” he explained. 

“After the rain started in January, I planted the first seeds and very soon I had to build a trellis for the quick growing vines to crawl over. 

“Most of the fruit were picked when 40 to 60cm long for use in the kitchen but I have allowed two to grow out for seed to use for my next crop in the Spring.”

Wayne picked one of those two when it was 1.3 metres long in anticipation of entering it in the Boonah Show.

“That will have to be for another year now the Show is cancelled but we’ve enjoyed eating the smaller ones and have used them in cakes, quiches and all the regular zucchini dishes.”

The Climbing Tromboncino Zucchini (Cucurbita moschata var tromboncino) is an heirloom vegetable which was developed in Liguria in north west Italy in a Mediterranean region known as the Italian Riviera.

It was bred from what we call the Butternut Squash (Cucurbita moschata) which was brought back to Italy from South America in the 1500s.