The Marina Di Chioggia pumpkin—wow, that’s a mouthful! If you’ve never heard of this pumpkin before, don’t feel too bad. It’s not exactly the most common pumpkin. But trust me, you’re going to want to get your hands on one of these strange-looking fruits this autumn season!
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Marina Di Chioggia pumpkin, from its looks to its taste to the best way to grow it!
The Marina Di Chioggia isn’t going to be winning any beauty contests this fall. At first glance, it immediately brings to mind the more classic interpretations of Halloween’s favorite mascots: witches.
If you grew up with picture books and cartoons featuring green-skinned, wart-covered witches, it’s going to be difficult to believe that the Marina Di Chioggia hasn’t been cursed by one! Its gnarled, bumpy skin almost resembles a cluster of pebbles or a truly terrible case of boils. It’s a stout but long pumpkin, almost squished-looking, like someone mistook it for a toad and tried to step on it.
The Marina Di Chioggia is most commonly found in various shades of green ranging from deep green to greenish-blue to greenish-gray, though some can show up as burnt orange or a very pale shade of mint green that’s almost white. Its most defining characteristic is its shape and the texture of its skin.
Despite its outward ugliness, the inside of the Marina Di Chioggia pumpkin is another story. When you cut one open, you’ll find smooth, beautiful orange fruit hiding inside, looking much more like the pumpkin we’re all used to!
The taste is where the true surprise of the Marina Di Chioggia lies. The innards of this deceiving fruit are hearty and sweet, and seeing as it has its origins in Italy, it’s no surprise that it’s a favorite of pasta-makers everywhere. It’s a great neutral base that you can coax to lean even sweeter, or to create a truly mind-boggling mix of sweet and savory.
Uses for the Marina Di Chioggia Pumpkin
The Marina Di Chioggia pumpkin is one of the very best pumpkins for cooking with, and it’s especially great for pasta recipes. This pumpkin is perfect for making hearty ravioli, risottos, and even gnocchi!
Though gnocchi is classically a potato dish, thanks to the texture and flavor of the Marina Di Chioggia, you can use it to put an autumnal twist on a recipe that doesn’t often utilize pumpkin as an ingredient. Of course, if you’re not too keen on pasta, you can always make plain old roasted pumpkin with the Marina Di Chioggia as well! It’s an adaptable pumpkin that works well for all kinds of recipes.
While the Marina Di Chioggia pumpkin probably isn’t the best choice for certain fall affairs—for instance, you probably don’t want it making an appearance at your elegant autumn wedding—it can still serve a purpose in your Halloween décor!
It’s not well-suited to being carved as a jack-o-lantern thanks to its shape, but you could certainly make it into a great accessory for your scary displays this spooky season. Grab some other fall fruits and vegetables, a stray broom, and maybe a hay bale or two, and you’ve got the perfect display to make some trick-or-treaters think they’ve come upon a witch’s hut!
When is the Marina Di Chioggia Pumpkin in season?
Like most pumpkins, the Marina Di Chioggia will come into season during the fall months, usually late September to early November. Of course, it partially depends on when they’re planted—these pumpkins take about 100 days to reach maturity, so plan your planting schedule out accordingly if you plan to grow these yourself!
Check your hardiness zone to see when the best time will be to start planting, but generally, you’re not going to want to wait any longer than mid-June if you want to have a harvest in time for Halloween! If kept somewhere dry and cool, these pumpkins can keep for up to six months, so it’s better to plant a bit early rather than late!
Where is the Marina Di Chioggia Pumpkin grown?
The simple answer to this is…well, anywhere! Pumpkins are one plant that really doesn’t get too picky about its environment, so you should be able to set up a Marina Di Chioggia patch wherever you live. You may have to take further measures to prevent disease depending on your climate, but in general, pumpkins can thrive in most places as long as they’re planted outside of frost risk.
You can always use the handy tool Hoss Tools offers on their website and put your ZIP code in on the Marina Di Chioggia listing to see if you’re able to plant these pumpkins in your garden, but there shouldn’t be too many areas where you can’t take the plunge and start growing some pumpkins of your own.
Is the Marina Di Chioggia Pumpkin vulnerable to disease?
Unlike some other pumpkin varieties, the Marina Di Chioggia isn’t particularly resistant to disease, so you’ll want to take steps to prevent common pumpkin plant diseases. Pumpkins are vulnerable to diseases like powdery mildew and downy mildew, so if you live in an area where they’ll be exposed to quite a bit of moisture, you’re going to want to invest in an anti-fungal to prevent their leaves from being affected. Don’t worry, this doesn’t require too much effort on your part; and, if you’re lucky enough to live in a fairly dry area, you might not have to worry about it at all.
Marina Di Chioggia Pumpkin Recipes
As mentioned before, any pasta recipe that asks for a dash of pumpkin is probably going to turn out best if you add Marina Di Chioggia to it. Some pasta dishes you can take to the next level by utilizing this pumpkin are Marina Di Chioggia pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin ravioli, or pumpkin pasta sauce. If you’re not in the mood for too much pasta, however, you can also use the Marina Di Chioggia in any of your favorite pumpkin recipes, such as roasted pumpkin risotto, pumpkin hummus, or something for the sweet-toothed among you, like pumpkin bars!
Final Thoughts on the Marina Di Chioggia Pumpkin
Have I sold you on this ugly duckling yet? Trust me, if you’re a pasta lover, you’re going to want to get your hands on some Marina Di Chioggia seeds and get planting sooner rather than later! Though not the prettiest plant to spruce up your garden, its unbeatable flavor and inarguable contributions to your kitchen this year make up for whatever it lacks in looks.
Excited for more pumpkin content? Keep learning all about pumpkin plants to become an expert on pumpkin planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and more!
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Cassidy Eubanks is a proud Michigander, an avid reader, a lover of colorful gardens, and a writer for Minneopa Orchards.
After earning her bachelor’s in Creative Writing (partially through virtual learning, thanks to the pandemic), gardening gave her an excuse to get outside and get away from all the screens. With a particular love for decorating with colorful flowers, using herbs grown in her own garden, and finding creative ways to build big gardens in small spaces, Cassidy enjoys helping others learn about growing their own food, flowers, and trees through Minneopa Orchards!