Simply put, la zucca is pumpkin, in Italian. It is the word that I have used the most in the past weeks. I have chopped them, searched for them, harvested, them and dined on them in nearly every corner of Italy, but there is still more.  There are still fairs to attend, restaurants to dine in, and seeds to explore.  I have been a bit lost in a flurry of action, as festivals run back-to-back.  The connection to the people of Italy is so immediate.  I show a photo, I note that I am a producer of pumpkins, and it seems that hearts open up. they forgive my “bad Italian” because I speak the ultimate Italian:  farming.  The production of food is more important than language.

Every village seems to have them in the shops, every Airbnb in which I stay has one on the kitchen counter.  This wonderfully simple vegetable is loved here in Italy.

I have crossed from Slow Food Terra Madre in Turin, to Florence, to Mondovi, to Alba, to Lecce, Orsara di Puglia, Naples, then launched north to Germany. I tour festivals and fields, corner markets, and kitchen counter tops.  Seeds fill my pockets, squash fills my stomach, and I sleep well at night.  In the weeks ahead, I will be sharing my journey with you, one zucca at a time.

 

 

Written by squash and awe

My love of food and cultures have taken me around the world, dropping me into my current location in Hawaii. I have been loving cooking, photography, gardening, baking, and outdoor adventuring, since back when I was filling a Girl Scout sash with badges. My locations may change, and my activities continue to grow in number, but deep down inside, I still love curling up with a good book, squealing about in a classic car, and making stick-to-your-ribs meals out of homegrown goods.

One comment

  1. Aloha! So glad you are back to blogging. I love growing Italian zucca, after bringing back some seeds from a trip there 5 years ago. Now I purchase Italian varieties online. On the mainland, I grew zucca “Luna di Napoli” that weighed 35 pounds, it looks similar to your picture of Mondovi. I loved how in the market they sliced them off and sold them by the slice. I also grew very healthy Padana, and delico ibrido. I’ve experimented with Padana on Maui, but without the same success. I have trouble with a bug that bores in to the zucca here. But zucchini I can harvest while small and before they attack. I’ve just started growing kabocha, figuring there must be a reason it is everywhere. But I’d love to figure out how to get the Italian varieties to flourish. Would love to connect when you return. In the meantime, safe travels and enjoy!

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