Kamo kamo (kumi kumi)
Native to New Zealand, this heirloom squash is a rather handy vegetable as it can be used in a similar fashion to courgettes or marrow when still quite young and tender, and is also tasty as a mature pumpkin – similar to a buttercup. The skin hardens and forms a shell, which makes it great to store over winter, and it can also become a fun serving dish for your pumpkin soup or a cooked vege dish.
With a rugby ball shape, kamo kamo has distinctive heavy ribbing and is edible, with a nutty flavour, from when it’s about the size of a tennis ball. Keeping with the ball theme, they grow to about the size of a netball. The plant produces both male and female blossoms. Both are golden and edible.
A cup of cooked kamo kamo adds to your daily intake of fibre, vitamins C and A, potassium and iron along with a wide range of other nutrients, and all for just 150kJ.
Taylor’s gold pears
Another native, this golden, cinnamon-coloured variety of pear was discovered in a Nelson orchard in 1986 and, because of its shape, is believed to be either a mutation of a comice pear or a natural cross between the bosc and comice varieties.
Pears are best picked while still hard and allowed to ripen at room temperature. They ripen from the inside out and can go mushy if left on the tree to ripen. Taylor’s gold pears will only keep for a couple of days at room temperature, but a couple of weeks in the fridge.
Eating-wise, the Taylor’s gold is as good raw and in salads or fruit platters, as it is useful in a wide range of cooked sweet and savoury dishes including pies, puddings, cakes and pickles. It is also a particularly good base for pear cider.
When eaten with the skin, pears are a good source of fibre – one pear can contribute 4g to your daily fibre requirements. Pears can be a trigger food for digestive problems if you have FODMAP issues.
Fresh this month
Harvested in New Zealand gardens in April
Beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beans, cabbages, capsicums, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chillies, courgettes, cucumbers, eggplants, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, kumara, leeks, lettuces, marrows, NZ yams, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, runner beans, shallots, silver beet, spinach, spring onions, squash, swedes, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips.
Basil, chives, coriander, dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme.
Apples, blueberries, Cape gooseberries, feijoas, figs, grapes, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, melons, nashi, oranges, passionfruit, peaches, pears, plums, quince, raspberries, rhubarb.