Zapallitos Redondos

2005.Jul.11 Monday · 33 comments

in Drink, Food & Recipes, Popular Posts

Zapallitos RedondoBuenos Aires – Face it, you’re stuck learning Spanish vocabulary with me. The Zapallito Redondo is a “summer squash”, i.e., zucchini, but in globe shape. It’s native to the southern part of South America. You can find “regular” zucchini, but they’re not near as common. The redondo is a bit more dense and a touch sweeter. When cut open, as you can see, it has a fascinating shamrock pattern to the flesh and seeds.Zapallito Redondo innards

The Zapallito Redondo can be used pretty much in any way that other zucchini or summer squashes can. One of the simplest recipes is Milanesas de Zapallito. Milanesas are very common in Argentinian cuisines – most meats, even fish, are commonly made this way. It’s based on a classic Italian milanese, essentially lightly breaded and pan-fried. It differs somewhat in that it’s typically served nude, i.e., with no sauces or condiments. Also, like much of the food here, they tend to be cooked until it’s difficult to tell that the meat was once part of a living organism.

Milanesas de ZapallitoMy take on Milanesas de Zapallito is quite easy to prepare. Slice the squash into rounds roughly 1/4″ thick. Beat an egg or two in a bowl. Mix plain bread crumbs with salt, white pepper, and what is locally called provensal, which is a readily available and very commonly used (here) blend of dried garlic and parsley. Dip the rounds into the egg, then into the crumbs. Sauté in a blend of olive oil and butter. Drain and eat while hot!

Opened up a bottle of Viñas de Balbo Torrontés, no vintage listed on the bottle. Dry, crisp, with flavors of fresh pears, light citrus, and a touch of wildflowers. I’m assuming that Viñas de Balbo is related in some manner to the famous Susana Balbo wines, though I’ve been unable to access their website. Torrontés, by the way, is a white grape that has become “the” white grape of Argentina. A small amount is also grown in Chile, but its origins are, like many wine grapes, in Europe. In particular, Torrontés was one of the original Madeira grapes, though most of the plantings were lost in a volcano explosion many moons ago.


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

BsAsWino April 3, 2006 at 23:42

One of the vegetables I most miss whenever I leave BsAs is the zapallito redondo. I prefer it to zuchinni and squash. When I’m broiling a steak on the bottom part of the typical gas oven here, I always include a few halved zapallitos and potatoes drizzled with a bit of oil, salt, black pepper and provensal in the upper (main) part of the oven. The veggies bake while the steak broils. It’s simple and really quite tasty.

GRACIELA May 5, 2008 at 11:00

I want to buy seems of zapallitos redondos
yo quiero compra las semillas de los zapallitos redondos

dan May 5, 2008 at 15:37

I guess it would depend where you live – the seeds are certainly available here in Buenos Aires at various plant stores – or, of course, within the zapallitos redondos themselves. If you’re not located here, you might try a resource like Jim Johnson at Seedman.

Sabina June 18, 2008 at 02:48

This delectable, little squash has found its way to Conyers and Smyrna (both suburbs of Atlanta), GA via my stepmother who was born in Uruguay. She regularly returns to S.A. to visit friends and family in both Uruguay and Argentina. Longing to eat her favorite squash back home in the US, she brought some seeds with her. The squash grow well here. Since my friends in Smyrna have planted many plants, I am sure that their popularity in this region will grow as they share them with their friends and relatives.

Graciela, If you didn’t find any seeds, we can send you some.

Alicia August 31, 2008 at 13:52

Sabina, Tell your stepmom that my mom and I live in Marietta, GA and we too plant the zapallitos. My mom bought seeds in Argentina last time we were there. We used to live in Uruguay as well. Luckily we are able to buy Yerba Mate in the US. If your stepmom wants to get together for garden talk or to drink some mate, send me an email

We too can send Graciela some zapallito seeds.

Daniel June 18, 2009 at 10:30

Seeds for the zapallitos, where can I get them, please. Thanks.

dan June 18, 2009 at 10:42

I suppose that depends where you live, to begin with, but honestly, I have no idea. Here, I’d just buy one and take the seeds out of it. You might try something as simple as a google search for where you live – I did one without a geographical location on “globe zucchini seeds” and it popped up with over 65,000 hits…

Monique Eden July 26, 2009 at 13:58

I wanted to buy the seeds for the zapallitos. Can you help me, please? Thank you

dan July 26, 2009 at 16:06

Monique – see my comment in response to the same request a couple above….

CraftyMari March 24, 2010 at 13:40

HI I am a native from Argentina and now live in Boston, MA I have brought back zapallito seeds with me and are happy to say that last year we ate zappalitos rellenos, tortillas de zapallitos, and all other great delicous recipies that i have come up with. I also found in my local garden shop some “eight ball” italian squash that are “similar to the argentine variety, but are really a round zucchini… can alswys try them out.

Burpee also has 2-3 varieties of ROUND zucchini squash.
Hope it helps!

Mario Bignami May 27, 2010 at 13:20

GRACIELA: Las semillas de zapallitos las traje de Bs.As.Vivo en N.Y. y los planto hace tres anos con gran exito.La fecha del plantio mejor es a mediados de Mayo.No abandones la idea de saborearlos ,son deliciosos y te ayudaran cuando anores nuestros pagos. Suerte.

mercedes August 20, 2010 at 11:10

No doubt”zapallitos criollos” are the tastiest , all foreigners who happened to taste them become crazy with them.
The best and most famous recipe “zapallitos rellenos”, “stuffed zapallito” you can fill them with their own fill adding onions , cheese, bread imbedded in milk and white sauce on top, or you can fill them with whatever you like…they will always be delicious.

Annette November 12, 2010 at 19:02

I live in Houston, Texas and would like to know where I can but zapallitos.

Lola February 24, 2011 at 15:35

If you guys want to buy seeds for these zapallitos, this web site sells them:
They are the crops that are being grown in Argentina and were developed by the INTA. The full name is “Zapallito Redondo de Tronco Pilar”. If you want a full description of the seeds look here (it’s in spanish):
I want to clarify that I am in no way affiliated to any of these web sites or companies, I just love these zapallitos and wanted to share the information with you. Enjoy!!!

dan February 24, 2011 at 18:06

Lola, Thanks for that – I know quite a few people from outside of Argentina have asked about the seeds since I wrote that post.

Lola February 25, 2011 at 13:10

Happy to help 🙂

juliana stamatis July 17, 2011 at 21:11

traje semillas de la Argentina y las plante aqui en el Cape dan flores pero no zapallitos.
Gracias Juliana Stamatis

Graciela February 4, 2012 at 18:54

Hola juliana stamatis los zapallitos tienen flores hembra y flores macho si los insectos no los fecundan las flores hembras que tienen los zapallitos se secan. Lo que tenes que hacer es fecundar las flores hembras introduciendo un pincel en las flores machos y despues introducirlo en las flores hembra, así lograrás la fecundación. Suerte

Beatriz March 17, 2013 at 17:37

Hola,yo tambien plante semillas de Argentina y tuve muchas flores, pero no zapallitos, aca lei que uno las puede fecundar pero como se’ cual es la flor hembra y cual es la macho? te agracesco de antemano tu ayuda. Mi zona es New Jersey tendria que plantar a mediados de Mayo. Gracias Beatriz

mirta segura April 21, 2013 at 15:39

hola, quiciera consegir, semillas de zapallitos,es por salud,muchas gracias , no se como hacer.

dan April 22, 2013 at 09:00

Si querés para crecerlos, vas a una tienda que vende semillas para jardines; si para comerlos, vas a una dietetica, casí siempre tienen.

elvira July 1, 2013 at 15:29

Graciela,mucho te agradeceria que me digas como reconocer la flor Macho de la de hembra para hacer el proceso que vos mencionas,yo traje semilla de la Argentina la plante y salio una planta hermosa con muchas hojas da cantidad de flores pero solo me dio 3 zapallitos uno crecio normal y los otros dos nunca crecieron hasta que se pudrieron,me temo que necesitan mucho sol la panta tiene ojas gigantes y cubren todo y el sol no penetra bien queria cortarle las ojas que me sugieres si las corto le afecta a la planta por favor contestame estamos deceoso de comer zapallitos vivo en New Jersey gracias

Erika Buxcel Spitzke June 14, 2015 at 22:50

I grow my own zapallitos de tronco here in Michigan (Berrien County) and am very successful.

boris roisman May 30, 2016 at 10:07

yo vivo en israel yplante zapallitos redondo de argentina.quisiera saber como saco y seco y mantengo las semillas para despues plantarlas. gracias

dan May 30, 2016 at 11:40

Saca las semillas y dejan sobre unas hojas de papel de cocina en el sól para secarlas. Después, guardarlas envuelto en el papel en un sobre hasta la temporada para plantarlas.

Victoria August 10, 2016 at 20:01

Boris. Los zapallitos para comerlos los recolectas tiernos pero para guardar las semillas (asi como bien dice Dan) acordate que tenes que dejar uno o dos que crezcan full en la planta.

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