I never realized just how many types of winter squash there were out there. This makes me sound a bit naive and a little silly, but damn. There’s a whole bevy of squash out there that’s just waiting to be tried out.
They are called winter squash because it takes several months for the fruits to become ripe on the vine. Late summer/early fall is the typical time when they are harvested, and then can be stored for three – four months in cool storage. So often you can find people eating these in November,December and even into the new year. Hence – winter squash.
Here are the varieties that you can find in some grocery stores:
Acorn Squash: Has a stringy texture, but a vert sweet taste. A good baking squash, it’s easy to slice into halves and fill with butter.
Ambercup Squash: A relative of the buttercup squash that resembles a small pumpkin. Bright orange flesh has a dry sweet taste.
Autumncup Squash: A hybrid semi-bush buttercup dark green squash. Rich flavoured flesh and high yields. Fruit size 6 inches with a weight of about 2 to 3 pounds.
Buttercup Squash: A flattened round squash with a white cup or knob on the underside. The flesh is very sweet and dry. The flesh is also dark orange, sometimes almost reddish in color.
Butternut Squash: Possibly the most common squash in North America, it has firm flesh that’s abundant. The meat it also blazing orange and has a creamy texture once cooked.
Calabaza: Warm climate pumpkins, this large squash is bright orange, but it can be found with green, yellow, or cream-colored skin. Sweet and moist when cooked, it’s most often sold in portions.
Chinese Okra: Sing qua are also known as Chinese okra squash, or vegetable sponge. They can grow up to 9 feet long and have tough ridges or spines.They have a zucchini-like taste.
Delicata: Also called Sweet Potato squash and Bohemian squash. This is one of the tastier winter squashes, with creamy pulp that tastes a bit like sweet potatoes. This squash won’t keep long because of its thin skin.
Green Striped Cushaw: The light yellow flesh is slightly sweet, thick, medium-coarse, and fibrous. Fine for pies and baking.
Hubbard: One of the best keeping winter squashes, the yellow flesh of these tends to be very moist and longer cooking times in the oven are needed. The squash itself is bluish, gray, orange or dark green. Very thick skinned.
Jarrahdale Pumpkin: A green “pumpkin”, that has a deep orange flesh that is smooth and creamy when cooked.
Kabocha: Also known as Hokkaido or Japanese Pumpkin. It has a rich sweet flavor, and often dry and flaky when cooked.
Pink Banana: Banana squash have a strong squash flavor with a moderately dry texture. They grow up to 3 feet long and are usually sold cut into pieces at the supermarket
Pumpkin: C’mon. You know what a pumpkin is. They have mild and sweet flavors.
Spaghetti Squash: The stringy flesh is a creamy white color, and not too sweet. This squash is unique in the fact that people use this squash to replace pasta.
Sweet Dumpling: These tiny bits, often weighing no more than 7 ounces, are perfect for roasting like potatoes. In fact, the meat of the sweet dumpling has a similar texture to russett potatoes.
Turban: Turban Squash has colors that vary from bright orange, to green or white. It has golden-yellow flesh and its taste is reminiscent to hazelnut.