In March, gourds hit the headlines after an appearance on ITV’s This Morning after someone submitted a gourd believing it to be a potato. It was a contender for the award of “world’s largest potato” in the Guinness Book of World Records. Since then, people have been searching the internet to learn more about the origins of gourd and how to unlock their flavours in food.
Whilst the term gourd may sound unfamiliar, it refers to a range of fruits which encompasses some popular foods, such as courgettes and pumpkins. So, if you have ever made a pumpkin pie or courgette casserole, you have already utilised gourd in your dishes.
There are a number of gourds that can be utilised in cooking whilst others are best left untouched to avoid illness. Turk Turban and bottle gourds are two easily identifiable gourds due to their physical appearance; both are consumable by humans if the gourd is ready.
However, the enjoyment of gourds does not have to be restricted to humans either as wildlife can also have a taste of a gourd.
There are multiple ways to cook an edible gourd. You can boil it in a pan, put it in an oven along with some spices or oils to add flavour and texture. It is well known that gourds can be quite overpowering or sour, so adding additional elements like spices may become necessary in order for a gourd to appeal to your palette
Once you’ve included gourd within your dish, you can repurpose any remaining leftovers for use in your kitchen as a container for juices, a mixing tool or a way to serve liquids. Other non-culinary uses for the food include birdfeeders or musical instruments. Gourds are great if you are trying to cut down on your food or even general household waste.
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