TJI: Fred Hempel’s Winter Squashes

Hempel squash

Fred Hempel's Galeux d’Eysines and Terramoto squashes

With his arrival at Oliveto, Chef Jonah introduced us to Fred Hempel from Baia Nicchia Farm (“Bay Niche”) in Sunol.   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.

We’ve been blown away by the great winter squash varieties he’s provided us with– yielding stunning soups, sautées and purées.

Here are the varieties:

Rugosa—Italian heirloom variety butternut squash, great flavor, deep translucent red-orange color, sweet and well balanced.  This is a stunner. We’ll have some of these on the New Year’s Eve menu

Galeux d’Eysines—a French heirloom variety, sweet and delicious. The warts (seen above) are from sugar buildup on the skin.

Potimarron—also a French variety, small, the name implies flavors of pumpkins and chestnuts. The thin skin is edible and adds flavor.

Terremoto—an accidental new breed, also seen above.

In the spring, we’ll see the very beautiful Triamble from Australia, known for its blue skin with orange flesh, and sweet taste.

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