Bumper Crop of Squash!

It’s that time of year again, where winter squash makes its return to our Farmers’ Market as well as our tables. Acorn, Buttercup, Butternut, Carnival, Delicata, Pie Pumpkin, Red Kuri, Spaghetti, and Sweet Dumpling…All of these varieties of squash will be found at the market this week from your favorite farmers! 
Today, we will squish the squash questions for some of those seasonal favorites. It is a difficult task to pinpoint just one recipe this week, so here we offer some general information on types of squash. Over the winter months we will bring you delicious comfort as well as healthy recipes for those bountiful beauties.
In case you didn’t know, squash is high in vitamins A and C. They have a long shelf life and will last for a month or longer in a cool, dark place. In general, roasting any squash will concentrate its flavors and bring out that rich, buttery, nutty flavor. But steaming, pureeing, chopping and added to soup, stews or even veggie-chili are all wonderful choices.
And don’t forget about the seeds! Squash seeds can be roasted and enjoyed just like the pumpkin variety!  Happy autumn!

  1. Acorn Squash:  Shaped like an acorn. Dark green in color with an orangey splash of color and deep ridges. Aptly named for it’s acorn-like shape.  Taste is mild, sweet and nutty.
  2. Buttercup Squash:  Turban shaped with a flattish top and green skin.  Dense yellow-orange flesh and tastes similar to pumpkin.
  3. Butternut Squash:  Elongated “bowling pin” shape.  Pale orange outside.  Deep orange inside.  Mild, sweet, nutty flavor.
  4. Carnival:  Looks similar to acorn only cream background with green stripes, speckled with orange and green.  Has a buttery, nutty, almost maple syrupy flavor.
  5. Delicata:  Cylindrical, grooved shape. Pale yellow with green stripes running the length of the squash.  Tender skin that you can eat.  Tastes sweet, rich, moist and similar to a sweet potato.
  6. Long Island Cheese:  Heirloom squash, squat shape like a wheel of cheese, tan and smooth.  Mild, subtly sweet pumpkin flavor.
  7. Pie pumpkin:  Smaller pumpkins (as opposed to the decorative, larger carving ones). There are several varieties, but all are similar and perfect for making pies. Look for smooth skin without blemishes.
  8. Red Kuri:  Looks like a pear-shaped pumpkin with a bright red orange color. May have yellow or green highlights. Buttery, smooth texture with a sweet, chestnut-like flavor,
  9. Spaghetti:  Large, oval, melon looking squash with bright to pale yellow color. Best known for its unique flesh that separates into long translucent strings resembling pasta. Mild flavor.
  10. Sweet Dumpling: Small like a large apple with a flattened top, its color is pale yellow with green and orange markings and deep ridges. Smooth orange flesh has a sweet flavor. Once cooked, skin is generally tender enough to be eaten.
Dan Kirk