These are the results of Sarah Raven's pumpkin trial, conducted this summer in the terrible conditions we had for squash. It was published in the Telegraph a few Saturdays ago - irritating, because who buys their seed now? But if I don't blog the results, the paper will float about the house for months, and I won't be able to find it when I need it. This post is all about striking a blow for tidiness.
I've grown some of these pumpkins, and completely agree with Sarah's findings, which is why I'm keen to keep hold of all this information for the moment when it's actually needed. And because not all of you may have a husband who is addicted to the Telegraph. The looks/longevity is for the florist in you; taste for your inner cook.
Crown of Thorns
The blue one. Good taste; excellent storer. Seeds "horrid"
Giant Pink Banana
Huge. Good for soup. Flavour ok (not outstanding). Seeds "like cardboard"
Good producer. Watery/bland. Only good for lanterns
Zucca de Marmellata
Size varies wildly. Used in Italy for jams and chutneys. Seeds ok. Favourite of whole trial
Chestnutty flavour. Lovely tiny seeds. Ideal climbing plant over willow teepees
Potiron Tristar Triamble
Heavily rippled blue-green skin. Biggest producer. Not much flavour. Seeds good but tough
Similar to Crown Prince. Good producer, excellent storer. Seeds ok
aka Uchikiri, aka red onion squash. Lovely sweet taste; skin soft enough to eat. In the top three
Rouge Vif d'Etampes
Huge, beautiful, poor producer. Sweet taste. Seeds okay
Creamy green skin, creamy coloured flesh which is bright green at the seeds. Light cropping. Delicious, nutty flavour. Large tasty seeds. Will grow again
V dense dry flesh. Parsnip-like flavour. Good producer. Tiny tasty seeds. Good in small garden, can be trained up fence/trellis
Beautiful, ornamental only as stringy/watery/bland. Large tough tasty seeds. Only grow for ornament
As I typed out these findings, I realised that the marks are not entirely consistent with the remarks - but this information is a good starting point for seed-buying decisions in the spring. I've grown three of these, and regularly eat two more, and agree with every word. Now I'm looking forward to growing Queensland Blue and Zucca de Marmellata. Any comments from any of you who have grown some of these? Or further recommendations?
Pumpkin in chilli oil
Butternut squash with parsley and mint softly spiced with cinnamon, a really good addition to a vegetarian dinner
Stuffed butternut squash - this is one of my most-visited posts, and a good cheap supper dish
Roast squash bites with pumpkin seed pesto - fabulous finger food, full of goodness
Wise words - "Fear not to sow because of the birds." Lorimer birdbath, Kellie Castle.
20 hours ago