Sunday, February 17, 2008

No.18: Bottle Gourd

Bottle gourds are also known as bottle squash, calabash, doodhi, or lowki!

1. The bottle gourd is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young & as a vegetable or harvested mature, dried & as a bottle, utensil, or pipe.

2. When bottle gourds are to be used as containers, they may be constricted by bands to make particular shapes.

3. Well-treated gourds become durable containers. The dry hard shells are used for bottles, milk pots, churns, bowls, ladles, spoons, work baskets, floats, pipes, carved objects, and musical instruments.

4. They come in an amazing variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Some may reach 3 m in length whilst others may be up to 2 m round.

5. The bottle gourd is frequently used in southern Chinese cuisine as either a stir-fry or in a soup. In Japan, where it is known as kampyo, it is sold in the form of dried, marinated strips. It is used in place of seafood in a form of vegetarian makizushi (rolled sushi).

Reference: Wikipedia, University of Florida, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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