In contrast to what others might say, squash belongs to fruits! You heard that right, squash is not a vegetable but a type of fruit. It came from the Cucurbita genus, along with the gourd family. It is included to those many of fruits are mistakenly known as vegetables; such as tomatoes and peppers. Squash is treated more often as a vegetable in culinary because of its taste that it could add to your dish. Hence, what does squash taste like? Aren’t there a lot of types of squash? Well, worry no more as will roll out these questions you currently have right on this article.
Squash is a fruit that is popular to most cuisines that you can think of due to its classifications – summer and winter types of squash. It is not widely known that squash has two classifications so we will discuss this thing too! Read on to keep informed!
What is Squash?
Squash a gourd type of vegetable from the Cucurbita family – where zucchini also belongs, that grows in temperate or tropical weather and cannot tolerate growing in low temperatures. “Wait, does not squash have winter classification?” -yes, but it does not mean that actuality of it. Currently, there are more than 100 types of known squashes around the world.
Summer Vs. Winter Squash
As it may sound confusing, the classifications are not about to classify them to where they can grow but they pertain to current usage. Meaning, they can be harvested to the mentioned seasons but the actual consumption is more popular during summer.
Summer squash is widely available on market from early to late summer but is also available all winter. It also is referred to as more soft-skinned squash versus the winter squash. The flesh is also more recognized to be softer and moist than winter squash. You can distinguish summer squashes with the yellow, crooked neck structure – almost looking like zucchini to simply put. It is best harvested after 50 to 65 days after sowing, as young as possible. Since they are called soft-skinned squash, they are best eaten as young while tender. Once ripened, the flesh will turn too soft just like other fruits but in this squash’s case, it would likely be mushier than supple.
On the other hand, what is Winter squash?
Winter squash is only called like that because they can be only harvested at the end of the summer but most types under this can be eaten during the winter season. Meaning, they have a longer and better shelf-life than summer squash. Winter squash comes in a variety of shapes and sizes but more often, they appear to look bigger than summer squash.
Their color varies from golden yellow to bright orange. In terms of texture and structure, summer squash is soft-skinned, winter squash is hard-shelled squash. On harvesting, the best to harvest them is once they are fully mature, around after 120 days of the plantation, unlike with summer squash that should be harvested at a very young age. They are at their best quality if they are also harvested when the winter season is coming, thus explains why it is called winter squash.
What Does Squash Taste Like?
As elaborated above, squash is classified into two types – summer and winter; in this article, we are focusing more on what does of the two popular winter squashes taste like – acorn and butternut, but first, let’s shortly discuss their differences.
Acorn squash speaks by its name. It shapes like an acorn with more prominent ridges, which makes it harder to peel. Its color ranges from golden yellow to dark green, while its flesh is yellow-orange. On the other hand, butternut appears to have a more elongated neck or like a flower vase-shaped with a bulbous end. Unlike acorn, its color is like faded tan to off white, while its skin is smooth and can be more easily peeled than accord. Its flesh is deep-orange colored.
What Does Acorn Squash Taste Like?
Acorn squash has a mild neutral flavor and sweet. However, it is fibrous and sometimes a little too stringy, adding a little bite to your dish. This is best to use when you are looking for a healthy snack to bake, roast, or stuffing.
What Does Butternut Squash Taste Like?
This is probably the most popular type of winter squash that you can pick from the market due to its taste comparable to sweet potatoes. It is softer, smoother, and finer than acorn squash but you can notice that it is a little watery, that why it is more often used in the soup. It also has this nutty taste but it is sweeter than an acorn. This is most likely to pick over an acorn, to be honest.
Now that we have discussed the different types of squashes, we have prepared one of the simplest but best squash recipes just for you!
Roasted Acorn Squash
- 3 acorn squash
- Olive Oil
- Maple syrup
- Fresh sage and/or rosemary
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
On a preheated oven (425°F), place the cleaned, seedless, and chopped into halves (cut-side up) acorn squash on the baking tray placed under the baking sheet. Drizzle with maple syrup, olive oil, sprinkle with a pink of sea salt, and the herbs, all depending on your desired amount on the center of the acorn squash. Wait until 25 to 40 minutes until the color turns to a golden brown.
It is never new that squash is often considered as a vegetable because of how people used to treat it, but squash is fruit. Unlike other fruits, squashes are mostly hard in texture and structure. Nevertheless, the taste it could bring to your dish is peculiar. So, what does squash taste like?
As mentioned in this article, there two classifications of squash – summer and winter. Though summer and winter squashes have a variety of colors and shapes, they do not have far and deep differences when it comes to taste. Mostly have mild and sweet flavor while some can be described as bland. Nonetheless, once you have explored the several usages of squash, you might be surprised by endless ideas. So what are you waiting for? Go to your nearest market and grab a good quality of squash and prepare something healthy on the table tonight!