October it’s pumpkin month. And not just because the Halloween pumpkin is the most famous and widespread symbol to celebrate the night of the witches. The Ssweet taste and the pulp with a firm consistency make the pumpkin a versatile and ideal ingredient for making the most varied fall recipes, but not everyone knows that there are many varieties on the market. Let’s find out together how to recognize the difference between the Delica pumpkin and the Mantovana squashboth used and loved in the kitchen.
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Delica pumpkin vs Mantovana, the difference
The Delica pumpkin it is among the most loved and widespread varieties in Italy, where it is grown above all in Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. Born from a crossbreed, it has Japanese origins and compared to other varieties you can find it on the shelves already in the summer. How to distinguish it? One of its characteristics is precisely its appearance: the shape is rounded, the skin is thin and of an intense dark green color with brown grooves. In addition, its size is small and its weight is about 1-2kg. Its pulp is yellow-orange and it is very compact, firm, dry and sweet: this is exactly what makes it so versatile in the kitchen.
From a nutritional point of view, the Delica pumpkin is rich in carotenes with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but also contains a large amount of fibre, minerals and vitamins which make it an important source of well-being for our body. Magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, vitamin E and Omega 3 are just some of the nutritional contributions pumpkin, which also make it ideal for those with intestinal problems or need to rebalance the intestinal flora. In kitchen it is excellent for risottos, as a filling for tortelli and cappellacci, or stewed or baked in cubes if you prefer… the choice is yours!
The Mantovana pumpkin
The Mantovana squash, as the name suggests, is typical of the Lombardy area and has now become a true symbol of the city of Mantua. Also known by the name of Priest’s hat due to the shape similar to a turban, it has a unique and unmistakable sweet taste. How to tell the difference from Delica pumpkin? There peel is dark green with lighter streaks than those of the “cousin”, its weight is about 1 kg and its pulp it is hard, not very fibrous and yellow-orange in colour. It can be said that these two types of pumpkin are like close relatives, but it is precisely there that distinguishes them historythe tradition and theuse in the kitchen.
The Mantovana pumpkin, in fact, is the ingredient par excellence of fillings: Tortelli and pumpkin gnocchi from Mantua are famous all over the world and have a long tradition behind them starting from the sixteenth century. However, its origin dates back to millions of years ago in Asia, to then arrive in the Americas and, since the discovery of Christopher Columbus, it has been present in the gastronomic traditions of many countries thanks to its peculiarities. Not only that, like other pumpkin varieties it is rich in vitamins A and C, mineral salts and is made up of 94% water. And, like the Delica pumpkin, it has excellent diuretic, laxative and digestive properties.