The marrow is a gourd of the cucurbi-taceae family, relative to the pumpkin and squash. Marrow is eaten in the British
Isles, where it is known as vegetable marrow, and in the United States, where it is called a squash, or summer squash.
Marrows grow in two forms – in bushes above the ground, and as trailers – and come in a great variety of shapes and sizes: large and fat, long and thin, and the round and flattened shape of the CUSTARD MARROW. The colour of the skins varies also – from off-white to yellow, pale green and dark green or a mixture of these colours.
The most commonly found marrow in the British Isles is the large, elongated oval type which attains an average weight of 2 to 3 pounds and length of 14-inches or more, and which has a green, yellowish green or green and white skin.
Marrows are eaten both when they are young and small, and when they are fully matured and large. Young marrows are more tender and juicy, but the skin has a slightly bitter flavour, so the vegetable should be peeled before being cooked.
Mature marrows are cooked with their skins and peeled afterwards. Both types of marrow can be steamed, boiled, mashed, baked, stuffed or fried, and the seeds are always scooped out before they are cooked.
Marrow is often served plain, but because of its high water content it is rather flavourless, so it benefits from being cooked with or accompanied by highly flavoured ingredients.