Turban Squash (Giromon)

History

Turban SquashThe turban squash from the variety Cucurbita maxima is a variety of pumpkin grown in the West Indies. It is native to the Caribbean and would be endemic to the area. It is also called sweetness of the Caribbean.

The word we use in Martinique giraumon (giromon also works) drift of jirumum borrowed from the Tupi language which designated a kind of squash once cultivated in the Caribbean islands by the Carib Indians. It is attested from 1614 under the form of giromon.

Varieties

Turban squash slices for sale at Fort de France marketThere are various varieties of pumpkins but two varieties of turban squashs: The Turban Squash or Galeuse d'Eysines. The turban squash has a green and white skin rather tough though not thick, edible part yellow orange to dark orange. Often compared to pumpkin, it tastes less sweet than the latter and more grainy flesh.

The turban squash can weigh more than 5 kg but on average it is 15 to 20 cm (5.9" to 7.9") at maturity in diameter and weighs about 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs). It is possible but rare to find turban squash weighing more than 20 kg (44 lbs)!

Health benefits

The turban squash is largely composed of water and is therefore neither caloric nor energetic. Rich in potassium, however, it is good for the regulation of blood pressure, the functioning of the intestines and the reduction of certain cancers. Moreover, thanks to its vitamin A, the turban squash has anti-oxidant properties.

Uses

Turban squash soupOnce cooked, the flesh becomes creamy. The turban squash is consumed in cooked salad. It also gives a velvety or soup that can be used in other preparations of meat or rice with turban squash. In Haiti, the soup of turban squash is the traditional meal of January 1, day of the national holiday of the island in reference to its independence. The turban squash flowers are edible and are sometimes used to make fritters in Martinique.

Its hollowed bark is used as container.

The turban squash peels can be reused to produce organic compost for plants.

Images