Buttercup squash are a variety of turban squash.
They are round and flattened, though some cultivars are blockier than others.
They have thin, hard rind that is usually dark green, though some have a paler green rind. Some have a few pronounced silvery-grey streaks, others have it mottled throughout their rind. There will be a “butter”, “cup” or “crown” area where the blossom was, that is bluish-grey.
Inside, they have finely-textured, orange flesh that is dense, not watery, with thick flesh walls. Many people compare the taste to sweet potato. Others feel that the texture and taste of the flesh is far closer to hubbard squash than it is to butternut squash.
The squash weigh 2 to 3 kg (4 to 7 pounds) each.
They grow on vines that stretch 2 to 4 metres (6 to 12 feet) long.
Buttercup squash can be a challenge to peel. Many skip the challenge by cutting it in half and baking it, discarding the rind afterward.
Wash squash. Cut in half, clean out, bake upside down on tin foil on top a baking sheet till soft to a knife poked through. Let cool till safe to handle, then scoop out flesh into a bowl. Mash with a few tablespoons of sour cream, a teaspoon of pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of dried parsley, a few grinds of nutmeg, and a few pinches of dried, ground rosemary. Reheat to serve.
Store uncut buttercup squash in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for up to 2 months. Once cut, wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.
Store cooked buttercup squash in the fridge for 1 to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Chance cross between Quality and Essex Hybrid squashes discovered in 1925 at the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station.
Other sources agree on the spontaneous cross and the parentage, but say instead that it was found by Oscar H. Will and Co, Bismark, North Dakota and released 1919.