With his arrival at Oliveto, Chef Jonah introduced us to Fred Hempel from Baia Nicchia Farm (â€œBay Nicheâ€) in Sunol. Â Fred is a farmer/plant biologist who is interested in finding wonderful vegetables that are new to this area, as well as breeding his own varieties.
Weâ€™ve been blown away by the great winter squash varieties heâ€™s provided us with– yielding stunning soups, sautÃ©es and purÃ©es.
Here are the varieties:
Rugosaâ€”Italian heirloom variety butternut squash, great flavor, deep translucent red-orange color, sweet and well balanced. Â This is a stunner. We’ll have some of these on the New Yearâ€™s Eve menu
Galeux dâ€™Eysinesâ€”a French heirloom variety, sweet and delicious. The warts (seen above) are from sugar buildup on the skin.
Potimarronâ€”also a French variety, small, the name implies flavors of pumpkins and chestnuts. The thin skin is edible and adds flavor.
Terremotoâ€”an accidental new breed, also seen above.
In the spring, weâ€™ll see the very beautiful Triamble from Australia, known for its blue skin with orange flesh, and sweet taste.