Wax Gourd

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

wax gourd Benincasa cerifera, is sometimes known as white or ash gourd. It is often referred to in a Chinese context as a winter melon (but see melon) or, in a variety which has little hairs on the surface, fuzzy melon.

The species is thought to have originated in Japan or Indonesia; it reached China at an early date. The shape of most varieties tends to oblong, and the colour of the skin is dark green, with white flesh inside. This is the largest vegetable to be found in oriental markets; it may weigh as much as 45 kg (100 lb) and have a diameter of 25 cm (10"). It is normally sold by the slice.