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Winter Squash Glossary

Winter Squash Glossary

Acorn Squash
About 6 inches in diameter, the acorn squash has a dark green, ribbed shell and orange flesh.

Banana Squash
With peach-colored skin and orange flesh, the banana squash is shaped like its namesake, although it can grow several feet long. It is often sold cut into pieces.

Butternut Squash
Large, usually a foot long or more, with a beige skin and orange-yellow flesh, the butternut is identifiable by the round bulb at one end. It has a flavorful, dense flesh and is especially good for baking and pureeing.

Delicata Squash
A squash with green-striped yellow skin and yellow flesh, the delicata tastes a bit like a sweet potato. It is about 3 inches in diameter and 6 to 8 inches long.

Golden Nugget Squash
This squash resembles a small pumpkin about 4 inches in diameter.

Hubbard Squash
Weighing 10 pounds or more, the Hubbard has yellow flesh and gray-green, blue or dark green skin with small bumps. It makes an excellent puree that is a good substitute for pumpkin in pies.

Kabocha Squash
This squash, with its bright green skin marked with paler green stripes, has pale orange flesh. It usually weighs 2 to 3 pounds and may be substituted for acorn squash in recipes.

Pumpkin
Pumpkins include field and cooking varieties. For cooking, seek out small, sweet varieties with a thick flesh and a fairly small seed cavity, such as Sugar Pie, Baby Bear or Cheese pumpkins. Field pumpkins have a fibrous flesh that is not good for cooking; reserve them for jack-o'-lanterns.

Spaghetti Squash
Roughly the shape and size of a football, the spaghetti squash has bright yellow skin. The cooked flesh forms long, thin strands when pulled from the shell with a fork, thus its name. Spaghetti squashes should be baked whole, then halved and their strands pulled out; serve like pasta.

Sweet Dumpling Squash
Actually an Asian gourd about 4 inches in diameter, the sweet dumpling has a very flavorful flesh and can be cooked and eaten like a winter squash. It is best when fully mature, its skin yellow with dark-orange stripes.

Table Queen
Resembling an acorn squash in size and shape, this variety, also known as a golden acorn, has a bright orange shell and sweet, mild-tasting flesh.

Turban Squash
This exotic-looking specimen has a topknot and multihued skin in oranges, yellows and greens. It comes in varied sizes and shapes.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion, (Time-Life Books, 2000).