Photographer's Note

Silk Road vegetable
Ancient Silk route that is visible on the right side is passing through Pedong. which is a small village in the Himalayan hills.
Both sides of the road are loaded with this creeper plant and its fresh green fruits hanging all around. The local name is Squash. This is a cheap and a popular vegetable of North Bengal as well as the North-east Himalayan villages. It grows very easily with minimum cultivation effort over the soil and climate in these areas. I saw many of them growing wild on itself on the road sides and the creeper plant climbing on the nearby trees.

Squash: The nomenclature refers to a common group of fleshy vegetables. It was first cultivated in North America and also popular there.
There are four species of Squash in the genus “Cucurbita”. The pumpkins, Gourd and Cucumbers are in the same group. The leaves are five lobed. “Tinda” is another variety of Squash growing in India and that needs proper cultivation.

This variety in the picture is directly called Squash and soft skinned with few thorns on the surface and fleshy inside. The colour becomes whitish yellow to yellow when ripe.
It is very low calorie vegetable loaded with ample amounts of Vitamins and minerals and may be the choice of diabetics and the obese people.
Taste: Fantastic taste in a gravy preparation. My favourite is the delicious finger fry in mustard oil.

Dr. J.

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Additional Photos by DrJ Bhunia (bhuniatrekearth) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 156 W: 145 N: 206] (764)
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