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bottle squash

Lagenaria siceraria var. longissima,: this long (up to 3ft), skinny squash is technically a gourd, related to the calabash (and like a calabash can be dried to use as a drinking bottle). Cooks use it like zucchini or summer squash in soups and pasta dishes. In the south, some people call any kind of squash a cucuzza; northerners often call it zucchina lunga or zucca da vino or zucca bottiglia.

It's perhaps the only squash to get its own song, as recorded by Louis Prima in the 1950s:

My Cucuzza

Cucuzza bella

She's my pizza pie with lotsa mozzarella

With Cucuzza

I wanta be

'cause Cucuzza is so crazy over me

Cucuzza grows in Italy

They love it on the farm

It's something like zucchini

Flavoured with Italian charm

I call my girl Cucuzza

'cause she's sweet as she can be

She loves to hear me say

"Cucuzza please babotcha me"


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Tavallai