About Ikkyu Nyukon Kabocha Squash
Ikkyu Nyukon Kabocha Squash is produced in the Shimokita and Imabetsu regions of Aomori prefecture, with each plant allowed to bear only one fruit. As the plant matures, offshoots and extra fruits are removed, leaving only a single fruit on the main branch. Taking in all of the umami of the plant, the selected squash matures to be flavorsomely delicious.
This kabocha squash has an outer skin color of deep dark green with a bright golden yellow flesh. It has a condensed sweetness, indicated by the high sugar content of 13 to 15 grams per 100 grams.
Achieving a good balance between the ideal flaky texture and sweetness is important. Generally, when a typical squash matures, the starch converts into sugar, which makes the squash sweeter but unfortunately the texture is lost. However, the Ikkyu Nyukon Kabocha Squash possesses the ideal balance between texture and sweetness, gaining recognition as a premium kabocha squash.
Kabocha Squash from Aomori
Kabocha squash produced in Aomori become available between August and the end of October, though typical kabocha squash is available on the market year-round.
“Dark Horse” – The Ikkyu Nyukon Kabocha Squash Variety
“Dark Horse” is the squash variety of Ikkyu Nyukon Kabocha Squash, featuring excellent sweetness and texture. Aptly named as the dark horse of the squash family, this variety becomes available in the market when demand for other varieties falter.
Features of the Kabocha Squash “Dark Horse”
This is a highly anticipated variety that received its name in November, 2005. A variety of western pumpkin, it features a flaky texture. The outer shell is deep dark green, with the fruit shaped like a heart and weighing an average of 2 kilograms. The flesh is dark golden yellow.
The Secret behind the Good Flavor
The Ikkyu Nyukon Kabocha Squash Farm
The unique cultivating method of pruning all but one fruit per plant in addition to the cool summer climate of the Shimokita and Imabetsu region yields great tasting squashes.
The great temperature difference increases the sweetness of the squash, and the cool climate boosts the development of umami. Compared to the harvesting method where at least 3 fruits, or in some cases 5 to 6 fruits are allowed to grow on a plant, the single fruit receives a concentrated amount of nutrients, significantly enriching the sweetness and umami flavor.
How to Choose the Perfect Kabocha Squash
If purchasing a whole kabocha squash, choose one with deep dark colors that is heavy weighted. Depressions around the stem and cracking on the fruit indicates a completely ripe squash. If purchasing a cut kabocha squash, look for one that is packed with seeds and has thick flesh and bright colors.