Categories: Oxi Fresh - Just for Fun
The word “Squash” is fun to say. Try it: Squash, Squashy, Squashicity.
Thankfully, now that Autumn is here, we’ll all have lost of excuses to say the word “Squash.” After all, when you go to your grocery store or Farmer’s Market this Fall, you’ll find a huge variety of squash, ranging from Amber Cups to Carnivals to Fairytales.
But unless you know something about these oddly shaped fruits (yep, that’s what they technically are), you’ll be tempted to just pass them by. That would be a shame though, because some of them are really tasty.
So let’s learn about some of the types of squash you’ll see this time of year!
This squash originally came over from Japan, where it was greatly favored due to its sweetness (it’s more sweet than butternut squash). Its flesh is dense but smooth and is very easy to prepare.
They look like mini-pumpkins! Yay! Anyways, these little guys have a sweet and smooth flesh and are pretty tiny. Think of them as a self-serve squash.
This is a big old squash – it can weight upwards of thirty pounds – and is often sold in slices. It has a firm flesh with an earthy sweetness. It can be used on a lot of dishes, but it’s particularly nice for soups and stews.
Man, squashes have great names. This variety has a lovely green/white/orange mottled look. Its flavor is between butternut squash and sweet potatoes, and its shape is perfect for “bowl” type roasts – like this one.
Here’s a favorite of mine. This squash has a nice texture and tastes very similar to sweet potatoes. I would just roast this one and eat it plain – though some say a little butter makes it better.
Fairytale (Musquee de Provence)
Remember the pumpkins from storybooks? These look a lot like those – squat with deep ribs and great color. Their flesh is “tender and sweet.” Vern Nelson of the Oregonian recommends using them for pumpkin pies.
Long Island Cheese Pumpkin
Another fairytale-like pumpkin, this squash is round and relatively flat (which makes it look like a wheel of cheese). It flesh is “moderately sweet,” and very smooth. Like the Fairytale, it makes for fantastic pies.
This squash has an unusual feature great for anyone cutting carbs and calories. When cooked, the flesh of the squash can be “raked” out with a fork into pasta-like strands (hence the “Spaghetti” name). The flesh itself doesn’t have a strong flavor, making it a perfect pasta substitute.
Do you a traditional pumpkin pie, but don’t want to rely on canned filler this year? Sugar pumpkins are the way to go. These smaller pumpkins are grown specifically for flavor – not size like your decorative and carving pumpkins – and are exactly what you want for a fantastic pie.
Here’s one you’ll always see in stores – and for good reason. This large squash is easy to prepare, has a lovely flavor and a great texture. You can use it in soups, roast it and serve it plain, use it in salads, risottos – just about anything!
That’s just a sample of the many varieties of squash out there, and this holiday season you should make it a goal to try at least three new types of squash! It’s a great way to give yourself a culinary challenge and your family a really tasty dish.
Thanks to the following for the great information: Molly Watson of About.com, Debra at HapaBento.com, SpecialtyProduce.com, Vern Nelson of OregonLive.com, Ann Vogel of KitsapSun.com, Ken Ettlinger of LISeed.com, JohnnySeeds.com, Nicole Weston of BakingBites.com, RealSimple.com, Linda Stradley of WhatsCookingAmerica.net, Mellisa Hom of TheNibble.com, Cassandra Blohowiak & Cooking Light Staff of CookingLight.com, and of course Wikipedia.