Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Winter Squash

Posted on November 2, 2010


Winter squash seems to be everywhere this fall. It’s overflowing farmers’ market tables. It’s decorating front porches. It’s bulging out underneath elderly shoplifters’ overcoats.

If you’re like me, you can’t get enough or its earthy, savory flavor. But, for those of you who’ve never experienced to delight that is winter squash, allow me to run through a list of my favorite varieties:

Butternut Squash – The sweetest of the winter squashes, easy-to-peel, and perfect for pureeing. Eager to please without coming across as desperate. Good with kids and pets.

Acorn Squash – Wonderful for roasting or sautéing. Bold and adventurous with a cheeky sense of humor. Often disobedient towards authority figures. Fashion-forward.

Hubbard Squash – The largest winter squash. Stores very well for up to five months. However, it can be quite pushy. Has kind of an eldest child thing going on. Well-meaning, but often unwilling to compromise. Idealistic.

Pumpkin – Terrific for making the classic namesake pie. Can be cloyingly innocent at times. The kind of innocence that hides an oblivious self-interest. Often stumbles its way into situations that give it an advantage. Did it really simply happen upon such beneficial reward, or was it planned all along?

Spaghetti Squash – When cooked, its stringy flesh produces spaghetti-like strands. Staunchly conservative to the point where you have to avoid certain topics like healthcare or the war altogether. Has a habit of answering its own questions before you have a chance. Example, “What do you think of this new school chancellor we’ve got? I’ll tell you what I think of him…”

Kabocha Squash – Sweet and slightly nutty. Perfect for soups. Brown-noser. Constantly grubbing for attention from its superiors. Anxious when it goes awhile without adding its yes-man opinion to every conversation. Jumpy.

Delicata Squash – Thin skinned with a distinctly corn-like flavor. Kind of a nothing personality. Boring at parties but fine to have around at work. Nods a lot.

Turban Squash – Oddly shaped with a slight hazelnut flavor. Sees what it wants and goes for it. Sexually aggressive but quick to tire of a lover. Enjoys extreme sports and late-70’s progressive rock.

Calbaza – An ancient squash that served as one of the “three sisters” of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cooking. Crotchety. Hard to please and quick to criticize. Has the kind of tough exterior that hides years of pain and hardship. It once had dreams of a life in showbiz, but family responsibilities kept it home, and those dreams withered inside, like a burning match that slowly fizzled out. Farts in its sleep.

Banana Squash – Looks like a big banana. Pretty great. Pret-ty great.

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