Also called “Fig-leaved squash” or “Malabar melon”, this cucurbit is a fruit vegetable very similar to watermelon in appearance. Its taste as well as its texture are however quite original. Very easy to grow, the Siam squash produces a prodigious quantity of fruits, which also have the very interesting characteristic of being able to be stored very easily for several months. Our Spanish neighbors use the particular flesh of this squash to make the famous angel hair jam. With us in France, this squash is still too little known, yet its cultivation in our latitudes is quite possible and just as easy as other cucurbits.
Its culture in the vegetable garden of a curious man impresses!
Siamese squash originates from South America and the Aztecs already cultivated it! In the 19th century, Désiré Bois, a specialist in the acclimatization of exotic plants in France, cultivated it in his garden and marveled at the incredible productivity of Siamese squash, noting in his book “Le Potager d’un curious”, that in 1878, four feet had given 70 fruits, of a total of 370 kg! Following this impressive harvest, he planned to grow Siam squash on a large scale to feed livestock in the French countryside… but his project was not ultimately forgotten.
Harvest, preserve and cook Siam squash!
Its fruits, which can sometimes weigh more than 6 kg, are green when ripe, adorned with light spots forming reticulated spots that are somewhat reminiscent of the appearance of watermelon. The Siam squash harvest can begin as early as September. It is important that the fruits are perfectly ripe: wait until the foliage of the plant has faded and the peduncles are completely dry before harvesting the squash. Stored in a dry place at room temperature between 15 and 20°C, Siam squash can be stored for almost two years.
Siam squash is harvested when fully ripe and eaten cooked. When cooked, the flesh becomes stringy and resembles noodles reminiscent of spaghetti squash. It is prepared in a gratin, sautéed or in jam. The latter is known as “angel hair jam”, it is a typical specialty of Andalusia and Portugal. You can also eat the young green fruits like zucchini.
How to grow siam squash in the vegetable garden?
Siam squash is grown in exactly the same way as a pumpkin. She has the same requirements, namely warmth and rich soil. Consequently, it is important to enrich the soil with organic matter before planting and to plant in a sunny position. Remember to allow for the future scale of the plant by keeping at least 2m of space for it to spread out. Sowing seeds is done in April-May in the warm. Install the plants in the ground when the risk of frost is no longer to be feared. Siam squash, once established, requires almost no maintenance. Just be sure to ensure continuous watering, in the event of a prolonged heat wave.