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Kamo Kamo

Cucurbita pepo


Description

Kamo kamo, sometimes known as kumi kumi, looks very like a large, round courgette, and is a type of Maori squash.

It’s not as common as some vegetables but can often be found in supermarkets, especially in larger towns and cities. It’s described as having a nutty taste, similar to courgette but stronger. It has pale, courgette-like flesh beneath a very tough skin, similar to pumpkin.

Select kamo kamo like you would pumpkin: choose one that’s heavy for its size with a hard, dull rind and no soft or watery spots. Store kamo kamo in a cool, dark place, but keep in the fridge once it’s been cut.

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History

Kamo kamo is a traditional Maori squash, and is considered an ethnic heirloom pumpkin. It was, and still is, considered to be particularly good in a hangi.

Uses

As a squash, kamo kamo can be used in similar ways to pumpkin. Try boiling it with potatoes and mashing with butter and salt and pepper. It can also be braised, by sautéing with onion, garlic and herbs and adding red or white wine (or a stock of your choice).

It also works well as a sweet and sour vegetable – pan fry slices of kamo kamo until caramelised, remove the vegetable and deglaze the pan with wine vinegar. Add honey, and seasoning to taste until you have a smooth sauce, and add the kamo kamo back in.



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