Let’s Talk Squash
It’s squash season!
I think lots of people don’t quite know what to do with squash. That was the case for us, up until a few years ago, it was something we saw in the store but had no experience cooking with. We experimented and found some recipes we enjoy, so I thought a post about squash types and uses would be a good idea.
A little about squash:
The English word “squash” derives from askutasquash (a green thing eaten raw), a word from the Narragansett language, from the Algonquain First Nations. In North America squash seems to be grouped into two categories, Summer squash, and Winter squash. Summer squash include things like Patty Pan, and Zucchini, while Winter squash includes types such as Butternut and Spaghetti. Squash plants are edible in a few different ways. Squash seeds can be roasted or ground into a paste to make butters. Blossoms can be used to cook with, pick closed buds and store them in the refrigerator no more than a day before using. They can be eaten raw in salads, fried or stuffed and baked with a filling.
How do you tell which squash is which? Have a read through our list:
Acorn- A acorn-shaped squash with green skin, speckled with orange patches. The skin is a yellow-orange, and has a nutty, sweet taste. It makes a good soup, or is great chopped up and roasted.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.cookstr.com
Buttercup- A larger round squash, with a bluish bulge on it’s bottom. It has a sweet taste and a denser flesh. Makes a great baked, mashed, roasted, or soup squash.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.thenibble.com
Butternut- A cream colored squash with a larger bottom and narrow top. Often said to have a bowling pin shape. It has a similar taste to the Butternut squash and can be used in the same ways.
Photo courtesy of: www.realsimple.com
Kabocha- A type of squash we have not yet tried but is said to be quite sweet. Kabocha means “pumpkin” in Japanese. It is a orange fleshed squash, with a striated green skin.
photo courtest of: http://www.tainongseeds.com/Kabocha.html
Patty Pan- A small squash with scalloped edges, they come in white, green and yellow. Roast, bake, or use like a zucchini in baking.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.liseed.org
Pumpkin- The most well known squash with it’s use on Halloween. However the Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin and the pumpkin pie varieties are different. Although I’m sure you could through a jack-o-Lantern variety in a soup, I would suggest hunting down a smaller pie pumpkin for cooking/baking. They are sweeter and make a delicious pumpkin pie!
Photo courtesy of: http://www.foodsubs.com
Spaghetti- A yellow oblong squash, with a mild flavor. It is often suggested to roast a spaghetti squash and then extract the spaghetti like strands inside and use them as a pasta replacement.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.bidorbuy.co.za
Zucchini Often a dark green color, but yellow hybrids are also available. Grill, BBQ, bake, stuff, or fried, zucchini can be used in many ways and in sweet or savory dishes.
Photo courtest of: http://durhamfarmfresh.ca