Other names: Pul Qua, Long Melon, Bottle Gourd, Hu Lu Gua, Woo-Lo-Kua, Peh-Poh or Long Squash
Availability: All year.
Source: Mexico and the United States.
Handling Tips: Keep dry. Store at 40-45° F.
General Information: Opo Squash (Nam Tao) is also called bottle gourd or calabash. Opo is used in soups and stir-fries and is also steamed and eaten with Nam Prik. This squash has white meat with small, clear seeds that are virtually undetectable. The flavor is that of cucumber and squash. Enjoy raw, or slice thinly for stirfry or vegetable saute.
Opo squash is often considered to be of African decent, but common in southern Europe and Asia. Grown most often in warmer climates, this squash grows from 6 to 36 inches long and 3 to 12 inches in diameter. The outer skin can range in color from yellow to green while the inner flesh, which contains seeds, is firm textured and white in color. When young, the squash has a mild flavor, but as it matures the taste becomes increasingly bitter. When it is allowed to grow larger in size, it is ofen used as containers, thus the alternate name of "bottle gourd."