Opo Squash

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A long narrow variety of squash, very similar to zucchini in flavor, that is often considered to be of African decent, but common in southern Europe and Asia. Grown most often in warmer climates, this squash grows from 6 to 36 inches long and 3 to 12 inches in diameter. The outer skin can range in color from yellow to green while the inner flesh, which contains seeds, is firm textured and white in color. When young, the squash has a mild flavor, but as it matures the taste becomes increasingly bitter. When it is allowed to grow larger in size, it is often used as containers, thus the alternate name of "bottle gourd." It is a good squash for sautéing, stir-frying, or as an ingredient for soups and stews. It can be kept refrigerated for approximately 1 week.

In addition to bottle gourd, other names commonly referred to for this squash are: calabash, Italian edible gourd, long fruited gourd, long melon, long squash, peh poh, woo lo kua, hu lu gua, New Guinea bean, Tasmania bean, snake gourd, suzza melon, or zuzza. The name given to this squash in other countries include: yugao (Japanese), po gua (Cantonese), kwa kwa or hu gua (Chinese), upo (Filipino), cucuzzi or cucuzza(Italian), bau (Vietnamese), and dudhi or lauki (Indian).

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