Ayote Tierno

Cucurbita moschata
Ayote tierno at a market in Siquirres Costa Rica. The fruit on the left is mature while the fruit on the right is immature. (Photo by Frank Mangan)
Ayote tierno at a market in Siquirres Costa Rica. The fruit on the left is mature while the fruit on the right is immature. (Photo by Frank Mangan)

Introduction

Ayote is the term used in some Central American countries for hard squash, Cucurbita moschata, that in other countries is called calabaza and auyama. Ayote tierno (tierno meaning tender or young in Spanish) is harvested before reaching maturity. When mature, it is called ayote sazón (sazón meaning ripe).

Ayote that is mature, but is small in size, is also sold as ayote tierno. Ayote tierno is cooked and served as a side dish or is used in making picadillo.

Ayote tierno on top of ayote sazón at a market in Siquirres Cosat Rica. (Photo by Frank Mangan)

Production

For information on production and management of ayote tierno, refer to the New England Vegetable Management Guide and click on "pumpkin and squash".

Seed Sources

Seed for calabaza is available from Rupp Seeds. The variety is called "La Estrella".