Long Island Cheese
100 days — The fruits of 'Long Island Cheese' are large, flattened, ribbed, buff in color with fine-grained, orange flesh on vining plants. It is an excellent long keeping, storage variety. It was named in reference to its resemblance to a ten pound wheel of cheddar cheese.
"Cheese-type" pumpkins are a very old category of winter squash and one of the oldest squash varieties cultivated in America.
Commercially listed at least as far back as Bernard McMahon's 1806 seed catalog, many of the early seed companies began offering varieties. For example, J. M. Thorburn Seed Company of New York City offered it in their 1824 seed annual.
Thorburn's relatively close proximity to the truck farms on Long Island helped it to become a popular pie variety. It remained so into the 1960s, not only on the island, but in gardens all over the country. But like so many other old-time seed varieties, cheese varieties all but disappeared by the 1970s. According to the "Garden Seed Inventory," the last variety was dropped from commerce between 1988 and 1991.
Thankfully a seed saver and lifelong resident of Long Island by the name of Ken Ettlinger, recognizing that the cheese squashes were disappearing from all of the local farm stands, collected squashes from several farms and began raising seed. Because of the efforts of Mr. Ettlinger, the seed found its way back into broader circulation and into seed catalogs once again.
We began offering 'Long Island Cheese' in 2002. Each packet contains four grams, which is approximately 20 to 24 seeds.