Geleux D'Eysines Pump­kin

NZ Gardener - - 2018 Gardener Of The Year - FAM­ILY: CU­CUR­BITACEAE SPECIES: CUCURBITA MAX­IMA CUL­TI­VAR: GALEUX D’EYSINES

This salmon-coloured pump­kin is a great ex­am­ple of the in­cred­i­ble di­ver­sity of heir­loom veg­eta­bles. Grow­ing up to the 10kg mark, it is cov­ered in unique peanut shell-like pro­tru­sions caused by sug­ars that leach through the skin as the pump­kin is ma­tur­ing. The flesh of this pump­kin has an in­tense orange colour, smooth tex­ture and a deep, sweet flavour per­fect for slow roast­ing or turn­ing into a delicious soup. The flow­ers from this pump­kin are also ex­tremely large and tasty.

Botan­i­cally, Galeux D’Eysines is part of the Cu­cur­bitaceae fam­ily, and is na­tive to Cen­tral Amer­ica and south­west USA, where they were com­mon wild plants, with rem­nants of pump­kin seeds hav­ing been found in set­tle­ments used by in­dige­nous pop­u­la­tions in Mex­ico dat­ing back to 8500BC. It is be­lieved that by 650BC, pump­kin seeds had spread to China while, fol­low­ing the Euro­pean ar­rival at the Amer­i­cas, pump­kins ap­peared in Europe by the 16th cen­tury. Con­sid­ered a false berry, with the rem­nants of their ca­lyxes still dis­cernible, pump­kins are the largest of any fruit and take 90-120 days to ma­ture after sow­ing. The Galeux D’Eysines is named after the French town of Eysines where it orig­i­nated and is men­tioned in the French seed pro­ducer Vil­morin-An­drieux’s fa­mous al­bum, Des Plantes Po­tagères, which dates back to 1883. It has also been re­ferred to as Brode Galeux D’Eysines, which sounds el­e­gant, but trans­lates as “em­broi­dered with warts from Eysines”.

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