In Praise of Tromboncino Squash

10 Apr

VSQ-5469 trombocino

We’ve grown Tromboncino for two years now, and as great as our other summer squashes are, this is now my favorite, especially after last year. My wife does the planting and says that it is mildly late (since it is essentially a winter squash compared to squashes like zucchini). It doesn’t produce a huge number of fruits, but those fruits can give you a lot of yummy squash in a family size package.

What I love first about Tromboncino is the size the fruits can achieve while still being tender and succulent. We are talking about a three-foot long squash that is mostly neck, which is good, since the neck is all sweet meat, and at that size the neck is between 2 and 3 inches across. That is a lot of succulent squash! The bulb end, the seed cavity, is just as good but requires some cleaning and prep.

What I love second is how long the fruits last – this “summer squash” lasts a long time after picking. The two of us can only eat so much squash at a time. Once cut the fruit can last weeks. In fact we would leave it for days, cut off just the exposed end that had gotten funky, use another chunk, maybe leave it for a week, cut off another exposed end, and by then we might be down to the bulb on the end, which we use over another week.

What I love third, but not least, is how it becomes a sort of winter squash. A squash we picked in late September sat on our radiant floor until Thanksgiving when our children and family were coming. The skin had paled from a pale green to a slightly orangey yellow. We had been sort of enjoying it as a sculpture (fourth reason) but had to make room for our small horde, so I went to toss it and noticed that it still was firm and soft. Oh! So I put it on the counter and cut a chunk off the long neck. It looked like a melon, with the flesh a pale salmon. It cooked up into fritters quite well, not requiring skinning, just running a chunk of neck through the Cuisinart. The flavor was excellent but perhaps a bit less flavorful than when fresh. We ate pieces of this squash at Thanksgiving to everyone’s delight, and all through December. I blush to admit wasting the last piece, letting it sit is the fridge well into January before it succumbed.

In future years will have to explore how long they can last before opening – February? April? Will make sure I have a few extra to try out. – Bill Bruneau, Bountiful Gardens

Leave a Reply