This article relies too much on references to primary sources . (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Wax gourd, Significant Melon|
|Wax gourd plant, flower, immature and mature fruit|
|Genus:|| Benincasa |
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||54 kJ (13 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||2.9 g|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Benincasa hispida, the wax gourd,also called ash gourd, white gourd, winter gourd, tallow gourd, ash pumpkin, and winter melon and “Chinese preserving melon” is a vine grown for its very large fruit, eaten as a vegetable when mature.
A vine is any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent stems, lianas or runners. The word vine can also refer to such stems or runners themselves, for instance, when used in wicker work.
In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering.
Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems, leaves, roots, and seeds. The alternate definition of the term vegetable is applied somewhat arbitrarily, often by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits, flowers, nuts, and cereal grains, but include savoury fruits such as tomatoes and courgettes, flowers such as broccoli, and seeds such as pulses.
It is the only member of the genus Benincasa. The fruit is fuzzy when young. The immature melon has thick white flesh that is sweet when eaten. By maturity, the fruit loses its hairs and develops a waxy coating, giving rise to the name wax gourd, and providing a long shelf life. The melon may grow as large as 80 cm in length. It has yellow flowers and broad leaves. The taste is rather bland. [ unreliable source? ]
Waxes are a diverse class of organic compounds that are lipophilic, malleable solids near ambient temperatures. They include higher alkanes and lipids, typically with melting points above about 40 °C (104 °F), melting to give low viscosity liquids. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents. Natural waxes of different types are produced by plants and animals and occur in petroleum.
Shelf life is the length of time that a commodity may be stored without becoming unfit for use, consumption, or sale. In other words, it might refer to whether a commodity should no longer be on a pantry shelf, or just no longer on a supermarket shelf. It applies to cosmetics, foods and beverages, medical devices, medicines, explosives, pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, tires, batteries and many other perishable items. In some regions, an advisory best before, mandatory use by or freshness date is required on packaged perishable foods. The concept of expiration date is related but legally distinct in some jurisdictions.
It is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The wax gourd is widely grown throughout Asia,including Java and Japan, the places where it is thought to have originated.
South Asia, or Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China and Japan, east of India, west of Papua New Guinea, and north of Australia. Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, to the west by South Asia and the Bay of Bengal, to the east by Oceania and the Pacific Ocean, and to the south by Australia and the Indian Ocean. The region is the only part of Asia that lies partly within the Southern Hemisphere, although the majority of it is in the Northern Hemisphere. In contemporary definition, Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions:
Java is an island of Indonesia, bordered by the Indian Ocean on the south and the Java Sea on the north. With a population of over 141 million or 145 million, Java is the home to 56.7 percent of the Indonesian population and is the world's most populous island. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is located on its northwestern coast. Much of Indonesian history took place on Java. It was the centre of powerful Hindu-Buddhist empires, the Islamic sultanates, and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies. Java was also the center of the Indonesian struggle for independence during the 1930s and 1940s. Java dominates Indonesia politically, economically and culturally. Four of Indonesia's eight UNESCO world heritage sites are located in Java: Ujung Kulon National Park, Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, and Sangiran Early Man Site.
The name “winter melon” that is sometimes given to this plant is based on the Chinese name dōngguā (冬瓜), however, the character 瓜 (guā) can also mean “gourd” or “squash”. It is likely that the name “melon” is given because this gourd is sometimes candied or made into a sweet tea; see the Uses section below.
It is grown in well-drained loam and sandy soils, in warm mild climates, but will not tolerate frosts. The crops are grown in riverbeds or furrows, and needs constant irrigation during the growing season.
The wax gourd requires very warm weather to grow but can be stored for many months much like winter squash. Ash gourds of the Indian subcontinent have a white coating with rough texture (hence the name ash gourd, literally, in some vernaculars). South East Asian varieties have a smooth waxy texture. It is one of the few vegetables available during winter in areas of deciduous vegetation, hence its Chinese name literally means 'winter gourd'. The Wax Gourd can typically be stored for 12 months. In India, the wax gourd is recognized for its medicinal properties in the Ayurvedic system of medicine.It is also has significance in spiritual traditions of India and Yoga, where it is identified as a great source of Prana.
Winter squash is an annual fruit representing several squash species within the genus Cucurbita. It differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. At this stage, most varieties of this fruit can be stored for use during the winter. Winter squash is generally cooked before being eaten, and the skin or rind is not usually eaten as it is with summer squash.
In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term deciduous means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn; to the shedding of petals, after flowering; and to the shedding of ripe fruit.
Vegetation is an assemblage of plant species and the ground cover they provide. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader than the term flora which refers to species composition. Perhaps the closest synonym is plant community, but vegetation can, and often does, refer to a wider range of spatial scales than that term does, including scales as large as the global. Primeval redwood forests, coastal mangrove stands, sphagnum bogs, desert soil crusts, roadside weed patches, wheat fields, cultivated gardens and lawns; all are encompassed by the term vegetation.
In Vietnamese cuisine, it is called bí đao, which is usually used to make soup or stew. [ citation needed ]When cooked with pork short ribs, the resulting soup is traditionally thought to help produce more milk for breastfeeding mothers.
In Chinese cuisine the gourds are used in stir fry or usually combined with pork or pork/beef bones to make winter gourd soup, often served in the scooped out gourd, carved by scraping off the waxy coating. It is also chopped and candied [ unreliable source? ] as wintermelon candy (táng dōng guā) to be commonly eaten at New Year festivals, or as filling for Sweetheart cake (lǎopó bǐng). It has also been used as the base filling in Chinese and Taiwanese mooncakes for the Moon Festival.
In the Philippines it is candied (referred to plainly as kundol) and is used as a pastry filling for bakpia (hopia in the Philippines). It is also an ingredient in some savory soups (sabaw) and stir-fries (guisado).
In Indian cuisine this gourd is traditionally used to prepare a wide variety of dishes. In northern India it is used to prepare a candy called petha . In South Indian cuisine, it is traditionally used to make a variety of curries, including a stew made with a yogurt base.The juice of raw ash gourd(Maipawl) is used by the Mizo community of North-East India as a natural remedy to treat mild to severe dysentery. In north India, particularly in middle Himalayas, it is paired with pulses such as moong which when squashed along with winter gourd results in the making of a dish locally called bari. When dried in the cool winter sunlight it becomes somewhat hard and is used as a curry dish and eaten along with rice or chapati. This practice is done in Himalayas for quite a long time as people in mountains depend upon nature to help them survive harsh winters. This bari is a great source of iron and vitamins and eaten diversely in the mountains.
In Andhra Pradesh, it is called "boodidi gummidikaya" (Telugu language). It is used to make stews, stir fry and vadialu. Vadialu (plural; vadiam is singular) are made by chopping the gourd in small pieces and mixing with yogurt and spices, then sun-drying. To eat, vadiams are deep fried in oil and eaten as an accompaniment to rice and sambar (dish) or lentil stews.
In Kerala, the plant is called Kumbalam (കുമ്പളം) and the fruit is called Kumbalanga (കുമ്പളങ്ങ) or Kooshmandam (കൂശ്മാണ്ടം). It is traditionally used to offer 'Guruthi' (ഗുരുതി) instead of 'Kuruti' (കുരുതി) among Malayali Brahmins. It means, instead of offering someone's life in the pier, an ash gourd is cut into two as a symbolic performance in lieu human sacrifice.
In the Gujarat, is called kolu (કોળુ).
In Nepal, where it is called Kubhindo, it is cooked as a vegetable when young, but the ripe gourds are usually popular in making preserves or crystallized candied sweet known as "murabba" or "petha". [ unreliable source? ]
Occasionally, it is used to produce a fruit drink with a very distinctive taste. It is usually sweetened with caramelized sugar. In Southeast Asia, the drink is widely marketed as wax gourd tea or wax gourd punch.
The shoots, tendrils, and leaves of the plant may also be eaten as greens. [ unreliable source? ]
Double steaming, sometimes called double boiling, is a Chinese cooking technique to prepare delicate food such as bird's nest soup and shark fin soup. The food is covered with water and put in a covered ceramic jar and the jar is then steamed for several hours. This technique ensures there is no loss of liquid or moisture from the food being cooked, hence it is often used with expensive ingredients like Chinese herbal medicines.
Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical vines in the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae).
Hungarian or Magyar cuisine is the cuisine characteristic of the nation of Hungary and its primary ethnic group, the Magyars. Traditional Hungarian dishes are primarily based on meats, seasonal vegetables, fruits, fresh bread, dairy products and cheeses.
Tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals. Most tripe is from cattle and sheep.
Momordica charantia is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit. Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit.
The zucchini or courgette is a summer squash, of Mesoamerican origin, which can reach nearly 1 m in length, but is usually harvested when still immature at about 15 to 25 cm. A zucchini is a thin-skinned cultivar of what in Britain and Ireland is referred to as a marrow. In South Africa, a zucchini is known as a baby marrow.
Khmer cuisine or, more generally, Cambodian cuisine, is the traditional cuisine of the people of Cambodia. Average meals typically consist of more than one dish and ideally contrast flavours, textures and temperatures within the meal using plenty of herbs, leaves, pickled vegetables, dipping sauces, edible flowers and other garnishes and condiments.
Romanian cuisine is a diverse blend of different dishes from several traditions with which it has come into contact, but it also maintains its own character. It has been mainly influenced by a series of European cuisines such as the Austrian cuisine, German cuisine, Greek cuisine, or Hungarian cuisine, yet it also includes culinary elements stemming from the cuisines of the Slavic-speaking countries of Eastern and Central Europe, most notably Serbian and Bulgarian as well as Polish, Ukrainian, and Russian.
Chayote, also known as mirliton squash, is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae. Chayote was one of the several foods introduced to the Old World during the Columbian Exchange. Also during this period, the plant spread from Mesoamerica to other parts of the Americas, ultimately causing it to be integrated into the cuisine of many other Latin American nations.
Burmese cuisine is mainly an amalgam of cuisines from various regions of Myanmar. It has also been influenced by various cuisines of neighbouring countries, in particular, China, India and Thailand.
Egusi is the name for the fat- and protein-rich seeds of certain cucurbitaceous plants, which after being dried and ground are used as a major ingredient in West African cuisine. Authorities disagree whether the word is used more properly for the seeds of the colocynth, those of a particular large-seeded variety of the watermelon, or generically for those of any cucurbitaceous plant. The characteristics and uses of all these seeds are broadly similar. Major egusi-growing nations include Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Nigeria, and Cameroon.
Pörkölt is a meat stew which originates from Hungary, but is eaten throughout Central Europe.
Peranakan cuisine or Nyonya cuisine comes from the Peranakans, descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Indonesia, inter-marrying with local Malays. In Baba Malay, a female Peranakan is known as a nonya, and a male Peranakan is known as a baba. The cuisine combines Chinese, Malay and other influences.
Dinengdeng is a dish of the Ilocano people of the Philippines, similar to pinakbet. It is classified as a bagoong monamon soup based dish. Unlike pinakbet, dinengdeng contains fewer vegetables and contains squash and more bagoong monamon soup base.
Okinawan cuisine is the cuisine of the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan. The cuisine is also known as Ryūkyūan cuisine, a reference to the Ryukyu Kingdom. Due to differences in culture, historical contact between other regions, climate, vegetables and other ingredients, Okinawan cuisine differs from mainland Japanese cuisine.
Most traditional foods in Guatemalan cuisine are based on Maya cuisine, with Spanish influence, and prominently feature corn, chilies and beans as key ingredients. Guatemala is famously home to the Hass avocado and the birthplace of chocolate, as first created by the Mayans.
The cuisine of Chiapas is a style of cooking centered on the Mexican state of the same name. Like the cuisine of rest of the country, it is based on corn with a mix of indigenous and European influences. It distinguishes itself by retaining most of its indigenous heritage, including the use of the chipilín herb in tamales and soups, used nowhere else in Mexico. However, while it does use some chili peppers, including the very hot simojovel, it does not use it as much as other Mexican regional cuisines, preferring slightly sweet seasoning to its main dishes. Large regions of the state are suitable for grazing and the cuisine reflects this with meat, especially beef and the production of cheese. The most important dish is the tamal, with many varieties created through the state as well as dishes such as chanfaina, similar to menudo and sopa de pan. Although it has been promoted by the state of Chiapas for tourism purposes as well as some chefs, it is not as well known as other Mexican cuisine, such as that of neighboring Oaxaca.