Bottle gourd, buffalo gourd and other gourds
Many varieties of gourd (Cucurbita spp.) are indigenous to tropical areas of the world. Most are wild, a few are cultivated for the seeds or the gourds, still used for storage of water and beverages in tropical Africa. Smaller gourds are carved into household ornaments, used as musical instruments, and as cups for drinking of water and beverages. Okoli (1984) observes that cucurbits occupy such a prominent place in the diet, culture and life of many ethnic groups in Nigeria, that virtually every farming family has at least one cucurbit species in the garden. The fruits of the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) show unparalleled variation in size, shape and utility. The bottle gourd is cultivated for its fruit and although the fruits are too bitter to eat, improved cultivars of this gourd are reportedly as good as the pumpkin and are used as food. Okoli reports that bottle gourds are used as receptacles for fresh and fermented milk for guinea corn gruel, drinking vessels, ladles, flutes and for storage of palm wine.
KeywordsStarch Corn Iodine Proline Lysine
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