Calabash

Fruit of celebration, innovation

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Benjamin Boone

Beyond the beauty of the wild are the abundant resources of nature. Calabash is perhaps the most versatile fruit in the Caribbean There are two kinds of Calabash, the wild Calabash, which grows along tropical canopies and a cultivated calabash, usually found in West Indian gardens. This kind of calabash bears a more porous and larger fruit.

Wild calabash is often used for plates, drinking bowls and small rum cups called Gobi. It's also utilized for spoons.

Cultivated Calabash is often prepared over fire as porridge called Karrabababo. West Indian bush doctors also use Calabash with licorice.

It is supposed to cure severe head colds, and is known to reduce swelling too.

Calabash also plays a role in celebration. The seeds dry and rattle as maracas, while Calabash drinking bowls and plates are passed around with song.

Visitors may find that paradise lies beyond the palms. It grows hidden in the history of indigenous fruits and the way they are used today.

Photo: Calaash used bowls and gourds at Tropical Detials in St. John Virgin Islands.


Benjamin Boone loves nature and its mysterious properties


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