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Leaching Wild Squash Flesh

 
pioneer
Posts: 237
Location: Dayton, Ohio
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Since I've read that the toxic saponins in buckeyes and horsechestnuts (Aesulus sp.) can be leached out by boiling the cracked nuts in water for half an hour followed by a cold leach through cloth mesh, I've been wondering if a similar process could be used to leach out the toxic cucurbitacins from wild squash flesh. I have not found any ethnobotanic references to such a leaching process being historically used for wild buffalo gourds (Cucurbita foetidissima) or coyote melons (C. palmata and C. digitata), but I would not be surprised if such a method of preparation were historically used to prepare wild squash for eating before squash were selectively bred to not produce cucurbitacins.

If anybody finds a reference to such a process being used on the flesh of wild squash fruits, please let me know. So far, I have only found references to the seeds of wild squash being eaten, but nothing on the flesh of wild squash.
 
steward
Posts: 5278
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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With cucumbers, the poisons/bitterness tends to be concentrated in the skin, and more particularly in the skin near the stem. Removing most of the poisons from a cucumber can be as easy as peeling, and then discarding about an inch of the fruit which is closest to the stem. I suspect that squash may share a similar biology.



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