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Winter Squash

The term "Winter Squash" refers to squash that can be stored over the winter to become part of the winter food stock for eating.

They have hard rinds (sometimes called "shells") which allow this long storage, but which also makes most of them very hard to cut into.

Winter Squashes will generally be from the Cucurbita maxima or Cucurbita moschata species, as compared to Summer Squashes, which will generally be from the Cucurbita pepo species. There are exceptions, such as the winter squashes Acorn Squash and Spaghetti Squash which are Cucurbita pepo. And, there are some squashes which can either be harvested early for eating as a Summer Squash, or let fully mature to be classed and used as a Winter Squash.

Winter Squashes tend to have yellow to orange flesh. The deeper the orange colour, the more beta-carotene there is in them (which is a precursor of Vitamin A.)

Some Winter Squashes need to be "cured" first before going into cold storage. Curing involves letting them sit in a warm place (room temperature is fine) for a week or two. Varieties such as acorn, delicata and sweet dumpling, however, should go straight into cold storage.

Many Winter Squashes sweeten up in storage, as their starches convert to sugars.

Winter Squashes are ready to harvest when the shell is hard enough that you can't press a fingernail into it, but they must be harvested before a hard frost. To harvest for storage, leave part of the stem on.

Storage Hints

Winter Squashes need to stored uncut in a cool, dry place, between 45 and 55 F (7 to 13 C), but not in the refrigerator.

Freezing: Wash. Don't peel. Cut into, remove seeds. Chop into small pieces. Boil, steam or bake until soft. Let cool. Scrape flesh from rind. Package and freeze.

Winter Squash

Acorn Squash; Banana Squash; Berrettina Piacentina Squash; Black Futsu Squash; Blue Ballet Squash; Blue Kuri Squash; Blue Lakota Squash; Boston Marrow Special Squash; Boston Marrow Squash; Buttercup Squash; Butternut Squash; Carnival Squash; Chirimen Squash; Cornell Bush Delicata Squash; Crown Prince Squash; Cushaw Green Striped Squash; Cushaw Squash; Cushaw White Squash; Delicata Squash; Dulce de Horno Squash; Eat It All Squash; Galeux d'Eysines Squash; Gem Squash; Golden Delicious Squash; Golden Nugget Squash; Hubbard Squash; Jarradale Squash; Lakota Squash; Longue de Nice Squash; Mammoth Squash; Marina di Chioggia Squash; Mountaineer Squash; Muscat de Provence Squash; Onion Squash; Piena di Napoli Squash; Queensland Blue Squash; Red Kuri Squash; Red Warty Thing Squash; Rugosa Butternut Squash; Rumbo Squash; Shishigatani Squash; Sibley Squash; Spaghetti Squash; Sucrine du Berry Squash; Sugar-Loaf Squash; Swan White Acorn Squash; Sweet Dumpling Squash; Sweet Keeper Squash; Sweet Kikuza Squash; Sweet Meat Squash; Table King Bush Acorn Squash; Tennessee Sweet Potato Squash; Tonda Padana Squash; Tri Star Squash; Turban Squash; Whangaparaoa Crown Squash; Winter Luxury Pie Squash; Winter Squash; Yokohama Squash; Young's Beauty Squash; Zapalo Plomo Squash

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Also called:

Winterk├╝rbisse (German)


Oulton, Randal. "Winter Squash." CooksInfo.com. Published 12 March 2005; revised 19 July 2009. Web. Accessed 06/23/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/winter-squash>.

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