Fuzzy Squash is so named because the fruit is fuzzy when it is young, but has a thick white sweet flesh that is tasty. The fully grown crop is not sweet but it does lose the heairs in favour of a waxy coating that enables it to have a long shelf life. The Aisan name for fuzzy squash is Dit Gwa, but many know it as a type of winter melon and it is widely grown throughout Aisa.
Shanghai Bok Choy or Green Bok Choy is essentially a “baby” bok choy with pale green leaves and spoon-shaped stems, a miniaturized version of Bok Choy. It is valued for its tenderness but some might say that it isn’t as sweet as some of the other varieties of Bok Choy.
Jwala Finger Hots or Indian Hot Peppers are a very good hot pepper that dries nicely. It is an extra-hot variety that is very popular in Indian cooking. The plants are prolific and easily grown in the ground or pots. The peppers are about as long as your finger and a beautiful red colour when they are mature.
Winter Melon is known by many names including Dong Gwa and Dong Gua and is used extensively in Chinese cooking. Winter Melon are the largest of the cold season melon and in stores they are often sold by the slice due to their large size. If you grow your own and harvest them, whole winter melon have a long shelf life – they can be kept for months in a cool place.To grow Winter Melon, you need a lot of sun and while they are a food staple in China, they are quickly gaining popularity here in the greater Toronto area also. At Jade Gardens and Greenhouses, we grow the long and round varieties of Winter Melon.
The Oriental Long Eggplant or Aisan Eggplant are native to tropical Asia but are quickly gaining in popularity in North America. Oriental eggplant are said to have thinner skins and not so many seeds, which makes their flavour more delicate and less bitter. So, overall, Oriental Eggplants have a sweet and delicious taste and can be prepared in a multitude of ways, including stuffing, baking and sauteeing, making them a super choice for your home vegetable garden.
For those who don’t know it already, the Scoville scale is a measurement of the spicy heat of a chili pepper. The Scotch Bonnet pepper has an intense heat rating of 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units. Compare this to most regular jalapeño peppers that have a heat rating of 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville units – this is one spicy pepper.The Scotch bonnet has a sweeter flavor than havaneros and is often used in Caribbean recipes. Colours range from orange to bright red and and a very flavourful choice.
Asian Flat Cabbage is round and relatively flat. It has a stronger flavour and is slightly tougher in texture. Chinese flat cabbage suits quick moist cooking methods or the young centre leaves can be used raw in a salad.