At the Co-op, you are likely to come across many different kinds of winter squash. We love to try fun local varieties!

All winter squash are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber. Winter squash are harvested late summer through fall, then cured or “hardened off” in open air to toughen their exterior. This process ensures the squash will keep for months without refrigeration.

When selecting any variety of winter squash, the stem is the best indication of ripeness. Stems should be tan, dry and on some varieties look frayed or corky. Fresh green stems or those leaking sap signal that the squash was harvested before it was completely ripe. Ripe squash has a vivid, saturated color and a matte, rather than glossy, finish.

Small winter squash can be cooked whole or halved. Others, in large pieces, or peeled and diced.

 
  Acorn   Mild, versatile flavor and a tender-firm texture that holds up well when cooked. Hard rind helps squash hold its shape when baked.   Best uses: baked, stuffed, cubed and added to grain salads.

Acorn

Mild, versatile flavor and a tender-firm texture that holds up well when cooked. Hard rind helps squash hold its shape when baked.

Best uses: baked, stuffed, cubed and added to grain salads.

 
  Spaghetti   Pale golden interior is stringy and dense – in a good way! Use a fork to pry apart cooked flesh which resembles spaghetti in texture and mild flavor.   Best uses: baked and separated, then dressed as you would pasta.

Spaghetti

Pale golden interior is stringy and dense – in a good way! Use a fork to pry apart cooked flesh which resembles spaghetti in texture and mild flavor.

Best uses: baked and separated, then dressed as you would pasta.

 
  Delicata   Rich, sweet, flavorful yellow flesh tastes like a mix of chestnuts, corn and sweet potato. Quick-cooking with a thin, edible skin. Highly seasonal.   Best uses: sauteéd until caramelized, broiled, baked.

Delicata

Rich, sweet, flavorful yellow flesh tastes like a mix of chestnuts, corn and sweet potato. Quick-cooking with a thin, edible skin. Highly seasonal.

Best uses: sauteéd until caramelized, broiled, baked.

 
  Red Kuri   Vivid orange, mildly sweet and smooth, dense squash with a delicious chestnut-like flavor. Makes a rich and velvety pureé.   Best uses: Thai curries, soups, pilafs and gratins, baked goods .

Red Kuri

Vivid orange, mildly sweet and smooth, dense squash with a delicious chestnut-like flavor. Makes a rich and velvety pureé.

Best uses: Thai curries, soups, pilafs and gratins, baked goods.

 
  Butternut   Vivid orange flesh is sweet and slightly nutty with a smooth texture that falls apart as it cooks. Rind is edible but squash is usually peeled before use.   Best uses: soups, purees, recipes where smooth texture is highlighted.

Butternut

Vivid orange flesh is sweet and slightly nutty with a smooth texture that falls apart as it cooks. Rind is edible but squash is usually peeled before use.

Best uses: soups, purees, recipes where smooth texture is highlighted.

 
  Kabocha (Green/Red)   Smooth, dense, intensely yellow flesh that is similar in sweetness and texture to sweet potato.   Best uses: curries, soups, battered and fried as Japanese tempura.

Kabocha (Green/Red)

Smooth, dense, intensely yellow flesh that is similar in sweetness and texture to sweet potato.

Best uses: curries, soups, battered and fried as Japanese tempura.

 
  Pie Pumpkin   Mildly sweet squash with a rich pumpkin flavor, perfect for pies and baked goods. Different from carving pumpkins, these are bred for sweetness and size.   Best uses: pies, custards, baked goods, curries and stews.

Pie Pumpkin

Mildly sweet squash with a rich pumpkin flavor, perfect for pies and baked goods. Different from carving pumpkins, these are bred for sweetness and size.

Best uses: pies, custards, baked goods, curries and stews.

 
  Sweet Dumpling and Carnival   Sweet Dumpling squash is small and renowned for its rich, honey-sweet flavor. Carnival is a hybrid that inherits its tender-firm texture from Acorn and its sweet, nutty flavor from Sweet Dumpling, offering the best of both parents.   Best uses: baked, stuffed, broiled with brown sugar.

Sweet Dumpling and Carnival

Sweet Dumpling squash is small and renowned for its rich, honey-sweet flavor. Carnival is a hybrid that inherits its tender-firm texture from Acorn and its sweet, nutty flavor from Sweet Dumpling, offering the best of both parents.

Best uses: baked, stuffed, broiled with brown sugar.