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#1 Feb 26th 2016 10:41 am

From: Stellenbosch
Registered: Aug 12th 2006
Posts: 165

Marakka pumpkins

I hope you can advise. I am trying to find pumpkin seeds. My mother used to make this particular pumpkin for us many years ago.

I am told it was Marakkas. Well all I recall is that the taste was unique. Did not taste like any other pumpkin. It now reminds me of thick sticky runny grey/pale brownish almost babyfood like puree. With a subtle nutty flavour I think.

If it sounds familiar and you can help I would be most grateful. Perhaps you could tell me where i can buy the seeds. I live in the UK so will have to order from SA.

I've actually never heard of the Marakka pumpkin, but I did a quick google search and discovered that it's actually a type of calabash/gourd native to South Africa. Most of the information I found was from Afrikaans websites. Apparently the older generation is more familiar with it, and it looks like their seeds are no longer readily available these days.

Here is a bit of info I got from various Afrikaans websites on the marakka pumpkin. I've also included an English  translation of the below Afrikaans excerpts.

---Source 1--- … /3/13.html

maranka (ook marakka volgens HAT)
Die maranka is 'n lid van die pampoen-familie (Cucurbitaceae) en baie op die geaardheid van die kalbas.
Dit is 'n maranka. Dit is 'n eetbare vorm van die kalbas - Lagenaria siceraria''.

English translation:
The maranka is a member of the pumpkin family (Cucurbitaceae) and very close to the nature of the calabash.
It is an edible form of the gourd - Lagenaria siceraria '.

---Source 2---

'n Kalbasvormige pampoen wat as groente gebruik word. Dit word ook genoem maranka of marankie.

English translation:
A calabash/gourd shaped pumpkin that is used as a vegetable. It is also called maranka or marankie.

---Source 3---

marakka/maranka/marankie: 'n Kalbasvormige pampoen, Lagenaria siceraria, wat as groente gebruik word. Dit word ook genoem marakka of marankie.

English translation:
marakka/maranka/marankie: A calabash/gourd shaped pumpkin, Lagenaria siceraria, which are used as vegetables. It is also called maranka or marankie.

---Source 4--- … 6/4/1.html

Mev. S. O'Kennedy van Mellville Straat 13, Oudtshoorn, wil 'n paar pitte van die inheemse marakka hę. Is daar nie lesers wat kan help nie? Sy het saadhandelaars genader, maar kon nęrens regkom nie. Sy vertel dat dit baie lekker smaak en dat 'n mens dit soos pampoen gaarmaak. Die kalbas is groen en rond met vratte bo-op. Binne is 'n wit vleis.

Mevrou, die marakka of marankas, soos dit ook bekend staan, is die bekende kalbas, Lagenaria siceraria. Christo Smith skryf in sy Common Names of South African Plants (1966) dat dit in die Waterberge van die Noordelike Provinsie en Mpumalanga as marankas bekend staan. Jong kalbasse word as 'n groente gekook en geëet.

English translation:
Question from a reader: Mrs. S. O'Kennedy of Melville Street 13, Oudtshoorn, want a few seeds of the indigenous Marakka. Are there readers who can help? She approached seed merchants, but could not get anywhere. She says that it has a great taste and that you cook it like pumpkin. The gourd is green and round with warts on top. Inside is a white meat.

Answer: Madam, the Marakka or marankas, as it is known, is the famous calabash, Lagenaria siceraria. Christo Smith wrote in his "Common Names of South African Plants (1966)" that it is known in the Waterberg of the Northern Province and Mpumalanga (in South Africa) as marankas. Young gourds are cooked as a vegetable and eaten.

---Source 5--- … er_2012/15

Ons ouer garde weet ‘n marakka/maranka of marankie is ‘n kalbasvormige soort pampoen. Sommige mense noem dit ‘n patatpampoen. Redakteur)

English translation:
Our older generation knows that a marakka/maranka or marankie is a calabash/gourd shaped type of pumpkin. Some people call it a "patatpampoen" [Afrikaans]. Editor)

---Source 6--- … sequence=7

marakka: - marakkelfmaranka (volkset.?) - , soort kalbas/
pampoen (spp. Cucurbita, fam. Cucurbitaceae); NSo. le-raka,
mv. ma-raka (End 419); ooreenkoms m. (Am.-) Eng. maraca,
''soort kalbas", uit Port. maraca, wsk. uit Tup., lyk toevallig,
tensy NSo. die wd. uit Port. gebied in S.A. gekry het.

English translation:
marakka: - marakkelfmaranka (Folk etymology?) - kind of gourd/
pumpkin (spp. Cucurbita, fam. Cucurbitaceae); Northern-Sotho. le-raka,
pl. ma-raka (End 419); has similarity to (Am.-) Eng. maraca,
''kind of calabash/gourd", from Port. maraca, wsk. from Tup., looks coincidental,
unless the Nothern-Sotho people obtained the word from the Port. area in South Africa.

---Source 7--- … chive.html

Some farmers also grew calabash gourds of different sizes which could be cooked and eaten while still young and green, or allowed to dry.   (The Basutos called them marankies).  . When ripe and dry the small ones were used for ornamental purposes and the big ones were opened at the top to use for storing water or sour milk which was known in Afrikaans as ‘Kalbas Melk’.   These days it is sold in our Supermarkets as ‘Maas”.

---Source 8---

Marankies, of ook amarankies in die volksmond, is 'n wilde pampoensoort met 'n kalbas-vormige vrug.

Van die kultivars is omtrent so groot soos 'n groot aartappel met skerp punte op die skil. Groter variasie bestaan ook wat soos kalbasse lyk. Die vrug kan soos pampoen gaargemaak word en het (afhangende van die variasie) 'n unieke smaak. Verskeie soorte word deur tuiniers vir privaat gebruik verbou.

English translation:
Marankies, or also amarankies in the vernacular, is a wild pumpkin with a calabash/gourd shaped fruit.

Some of the varieties are about the size of a large potato with sharp points on the skin. Bigger variations also exists that looks like gourds. The fruit can be cooked like pumpkin and has (depending on the variety) a unique taste. Several species are cultivated by gardeners for private use.

---Where to get seeds---

Edible gourd seeds can be ordered online from the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds ( company in the USA. They collect seeds from all over the world, and have a very big variety of seeds available. Here is the link to their selection of edible gourd seeds: … le-gourds/

I've personally ordered seeds from many times before, and I can highly recommend them.



#2 Oct 8th 2016 9:11 pm

New member
Registered: Oct 8th 2016
Posts: 1

Re: Marakka pumpkins

In Swaziland Lagenaria siceraria is a very common crop. Seed can be had everywhere from farmers, but it is nowhere for sale commercially. The localname is luselwa (plural emaselwa). It is only eaten cooked in the green state, after drying it becomes inedible. Like all other types of the incredibly variable species L. siceraria, emaselwa have a hard calabash-like shell, but it is quite thin and brittle and is not used for anything.



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