It’s Winter Squash Awareness Month for us, and for you! So let’s be aware of the varieties of winter squash that we’re growing here at Suzie’s Farm this season. The varieties we discuss here, correspond in the picture above from left to right. Ready? Set. Roast!
These are one of the most common winter squash varieties, and are named for their resemblance to the shape of a, wait for it… Acorn. When choosing an Acorn Squash look for ones that are a deep, dark green color. Many will have an orange splotch on the top or side, which is fine, but avoid ones that are predominantly orange. In general, Acorn Squash taste sweet and starchy, and the flesh have a smooth flesh. They are traditionally baked, but can also be steamed or sautéed; they are easily stuffed with meat, rice, and vegetable mixtures. When it comes to storing, Acorn Squash can be cellared in cool, dark, dry space for many months after harvest.
This is a new variety at Suzie’s Farm this year. Red Kuri are a teardrop shaped, and have delicate, mellow chestnut-like flavor. Their “baby red Hubbard” style fruits should be about four to seven pounds in size and will have a smooth-textured flesh. Red Kuri pairs well with butter and herbs, making it ideal for stews, soups, and even your baking needs.
Delicata are a cream-colored, oblong shaped fruit with green or orange stripes. Flavor is sweet and nutty, and has a creamy smooth texture. Delicata roast quickly, and have an edible skin as they belong to the same species as all summer squash. In general, these don’t store well and need to be enjoyed quickly. Delicata will be the first to disappear from the markets and restaurants, so get them while you can!
So named because when cooked, the flesh becomes ribbons or strands, like spaghetti. When choosing a Spaghetti Squash, look for the yellowest as this is the best determination of ripeness. Spaghetti Squash should be hard and heavy for its size. Spaghetti Squash can be baked, boiled, or steamed. It can also be used as a vegan, gluten-free substitute for pasta. These can be stored whole for up to a month at room temperature; if cut, wrap in plastic and store in the fridge for two days.
Butternut are probably the most popular winter squash because of their versatility and ease of use. The rind is thin enough to peel with a vegetable peeler, making it ideal for chips, or to be sliced and cubed. Butternut are sweet, moist and pleasantly nutty. Look for fruits with a hard, deep-colored skin free of blemishes or soft spots. Butternut can store for up to one month (or more) before cooking.
These are a also a new variety for us this season, and are quickly becoming a staff favorite. Buttercup have an extremely smooth, deep orange, fiberless flesh with a very sweet taste. Fruits are medium-small, and three to five pounds in size. Buttercup can be baked, roasted, and mashed into soups. Look for Buttercup with a firm texture and dark, green skin.
We encourage you to try each of these varieties and find your favorite! We love to hear about your experiences with winter squash. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures, recipes, musings on winter squash or use #SuziesSquash and #SuzieFarm on Twitter and Instragram.