Why is it that we seem fascinated by things that are miniature or jumbo. If something is “normal” sized, it just does not receive as much attention. How many times have I bought something that was extra small or strangely enormous…just because it was that size? Oh how the market has grown for things like baby carrots, extra large candy bars, mini MnM’s and don’t get me started on the supersize phenomenon.
Although, supersize is one reason I love the Zapallo Macre (zuh-pie-o mack-ray) squash. It is JUMBO! GIGANTIC! ENORMOUS! It is so big that they just sell small pieces of it! I can buy kilogram sized squares at the store…and to think, that is just a small piece of the squash.
Zapallo Macre (Curcubita Maxima) has a solid green exterior and a bright orange interior. The zapallo was first cultivated in the department (state) of Lima sometime between 4200 & 2500 A.C. It has a rather high water content and I have found a great use for it when making soup as it seems to disintegrate, both coloring the broth as well as giving it texture and body.
Markets all over Peru sell slices or squares of this firm orange squash so that people can use it in soups or featured in dishes like Locro de Zapallo, Crema de Zapallo, Picarones, or other delicious ways here on Provecho Peru!