What the Fork: Pattypans at Tommy Bahama's

By Wynter Holden

My original plan this week was to dish on the spotted dick (tee-hee) at George & Dragon, but our own Robrt Pela stole my thunder with his creative post on the can of spotted dick (I just can't resist saying it again) gathering dust in his pantry. Guess we both had spotted dick (one last time) on the brain. Oh, what Freud would say.

Instead, today's wacky item of the week was "spotted" on the menu at Tommy Bahama's Tropical Café at Kierland Commons in Scottsdale. It's not quite as deliciously unusual as the aforementioned British dessert, but it does have a funny name: pattypan. It's in the Ocho Rios Roasted Chicken, an all-natural half bird with accompanying veggie side dish. Even though the name "pattypan" sounds like a cake-y dessert to me (maybe because I had an Aunt Patty who liked to eat sweets, or because of the kiddie rhyme "patty-cake"), their presence amongst carrots, snap peas and corn clued me in that it was likely a veggie.


Yup. Pattypans, also called button squash or white squash, come in white, green or yellow varieties and are often served fried or scooped-out and used as edible containers. They're low in calories, about 20-30 per serving, and have zero fat -- well, unless they're served fried, of course. Most people say the tiny 2-3 inch summer squashes (they're picked young for best flavor) look like tops, but I see UFOs, or tulips, or creepy mutant baby feet.

Hey, what are those phallic-looking white veggies in the picture, snuggling with the pattypans? Too bad they're not spotted...