I once worked for a certain professor who used to get tons of food-related books in the mail. One of the books was the Compleat Squash by Amy Goldman. “Do you want this?” he said one day when we were cleaning out his office bookshelves. I opened up the book. A few pages into it, I knew what it was: pumpkin porn. “Hell, yeah,” I said and took it home.
That night I looked through each of the glossy pages, skimmed the text, with growing awe of the author, whose obsession with pumpkins and gourds and squash has led to a pumpkin curing barn, for example. I found myself staring at a blue-colored cucurbita maxima called Triamble. It’s one of Goldman’s favorites (and she is harsh on some of my favorites). “I adore Triamble for every reason in the book,” she writes, “… with the dense abundant flesh (there’s no hole or seed cavity, in these pumpkins) are about the most highly evolved pumpkins on the planet.”
It’s called Triamble because they have three triangular lobes. I had grown some of the squash in the book: Galeuse d’ Eysines (warty and wonderful but also watery). Blue Hubbard (yum). Rogue vif d’Estampes (the Cinderella pumpkin). Kabocha. Turk’s Turban. Butternut. Acorn. And then, I decided, I would grow Triamble.
First I had to find the seeds. I looked all over and finally saw them in the Seed Savers catalog. Since I knew I wanted to save the seeds, I planted only one c. maxima variety–the Triamble. It didn’t stop me from planting other cucurbits–I grew a Thelma Sanders, which is a c. pepo and thus wouldn’t cross pollinate with the maxima.
The Triamble plant sprouted and ran wild around the garden. Sprawling, sprawling. It is an ambitious squash. I got a fair number of small triangular fruits. They looked like pieces of art in the garden, blue against the green foliage, that wadded up shape that my friend David said looked like a piece of chewing gum. I managed to pull about 15 fruit off the plant–one was very large and had, somehow, four lobes–and let them sit in my kitchen on top of the fridge to cure.
I ended up giving many of them away to friends as art objects, door stops, gourd-y decor. And then, I started to cook them. Inside, they are strikingly orange. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to cut in half. The skin was brittle but not like armor like some squash I’ve met before.
So far I’ve made soup, curry, pumpkin bread, donuts (yes!), and pumpkin pie from the lovely Triamble. The flesh is outstandingly dry, dense, and like Goldman promised, abundant.
I’d like to share the abundance–I saved some seeds from the biggest Triamble. If you’d like me to send you some, send me your mailing address (novellacarpenter at yahoo dot com), or come by to pick them up on the farm tour this Saturday, 10am-12.
Update: i’ve gotten your requests and i’ll send seeds to you all this weekend! also, someone said the email didn’t work–try novellacarpenter (at) gmail dot com