This is a gourd originating from tropical regions of Asia. It has been grown since olden days for household use in the Nakanoto area. It is harvested in July and August, and can be stored in a cool place until winter. It is oval-shaped, 30~50cm long and about 7kg in weight. It has been approved as a Noto vegetable by the Noto Vegetable Promotion Association. It is harvested when its surface is covered with white powder and its flesh becomes thick. It does not have a strong taste, so it is good when cooked with light seasoning. Since 96% of the flesh is water, it has a diuretic effect. It contains much Vitamin C and potassium, and can therefore help to prevent high blood pressure and counter feelings of exhaustion and loss of appetite. Winter melon is used for tsukemono (pickled vegetable), cooked covered in a thick starchy sauce, or fried, etc.