Fluted pumpkin, (UGU) occurs in West and Central Africa. The Botanical name is Telfairia Occidentalis. It is believed that it originated in South-East Nigeria and widely distributed by the Igbos. The most common name for this vegetable (UGU) is derived from the Igbo people.
UGU is simply the King of vegetables in Nigeria and possibly some other West African countries.
UGU leaves are the most consumed dark green leafy vegetable in Nigeria. It is also very common in other West African countries like Cameroon, Ghana and Benin.
The fresh leaves are used alone or together with other leaves and ingredients to cook soup like Edikang Ikong, Ofe Ugu, and Egusi.
The leaves are high in calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin A,K, E and B2
The leaves have great antioxidant capacities to help restore damaged skin and cells. The leaves are also used medicinally.
It is often fed to pregnant women and patients suffering from anemia to strengthen their blood.
UGU leaves are purchased fresh at local African markets and cooked the same day.
Fresh UGU is very rare in the USA. It is normally imported dried or frozen and that is not the same as fresh UGU.
Meshbesher Farms is making fresh UGU leaves available in the USA.