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wax gourd


Botanical name: Benincasa hispida


Today, the wax gourd grows in numerous regions of the earth: in Africa, South America, the southern part of the USA, and in Southeast Asia and Australia, where it originated. In these areas it is decisively important for the local diet, while in Germany it is known mainly as an ornamental squash.


The wax gourd is rarely found on the market, and when it is available, then from August to September as an import from the Netherlands, where it is grown in greenhouses.

Appearance, taste, characteristics

These squashes that are round like a ball or egg-shaped can reach a length of 40 cm. Their dark-green to blue-green shell is covered with a waxy white coating. Inside, the wax gourd has numerous seeds, as do most types of squash. The pulp is white and juicy and towards the middle frequently spongy.


The wax gourd contains approximately 16 mg% vitamin C. The nutrient content is otherwise rather negligible and similar to that of the cucumber.

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

This variety of squash uses a very particular characteristic to make it keep for a long time. Even after the harvest and while it is being stored the shell grows thicker and protects the fruit from drying out. Wax gourds are one of the squashes that can be kept longest – up to 6 months – without losing quality.

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

The seeds are used to raise new plants, and the fruits themselves are suitable for various dishes. They must be peeled and freed of their seeds. Cut in pieces, they are cooked as a vegetable and served as a side dish.

The gourds can also be filled with different ingredients and steamed, or used to prepare a soup that is popular in China. In Indonesia small pieces are dipped in a sugar solution and dried. This sweet snack is served with tea and coffee or is a component in various pastries.

If you want to learn more about squashes in general, read further here.





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