UKOY, A Serendipitous Find


I must admit: I can sit for hours reading what others might consider absolutely dry, uninspiring material. I’m talking about dictionaries, pages of instructions, those types of things. And that’s OK; every now and then I get rewarded.

Take UKOY, for example. I’ve been searching Malay and Indonesian cookbooks for any hints as to the origin of that delightful fritter made with shredded squash or sweet potatoes and small shrimps.

Once I encountered a list of Philippine food words supposedly derived from Chinese, and it included ukoy, but not much additional information aside from the description.

Well, the other day I was looking at an on-line catalog for rare seeds, and I found the answer to my ukoy question. It’s from Central America!

These squat little fruits are amazing! Gorgeously ribbed in the alternating high-low ribbing seen in other Central American squashes, the warted, flattened fruits appear…

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