Nankin ramen and flowery ruccola

GOURMANDE in OSAKA

Nankin is not only the city in China, it’s pumpkins. Litterally “South melon” or “South Capital”. It is also read “kabocha”. And “kabocha” actually meant Cambodia. It seems Japan got its orange squashes from the Mekong area, brought by the Portuguese… some years ago. Japanese pumpkins are small sized (from tennis ball to soccer ball size). Even if some amateur gardeners cultivate the huge Western ones too, we don’t see them often in shops.

The most common kabocha in Japan is now this one , and it’s a “kuri kabocha”, a “potimarron” (chestnut type pumpkin), it’s a quite recent species :

Other kabochas are ripe earlier in Summer. I got this one that I suspect to be more ancient. It’s more watery, less sweet. I can’t tell the precise name. It’s a good Summer veggie :

Ruccola or rocket salad, orange paquerettes, bell pepper and croutons made of toasted usu-age…

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