Rare Types Of Squash

Last Updated on October 29, 2022 by Cinthia

Many gardeners enjoy squash as there are so many different varieties to choose from and they come with many health benefits. They are also very versatile and there are many different ways you can enjoy eating them. Though many people know about butternut squash or zucchinis, there are some rare types of squash that are also great for growing in your garden as well.

Though some of these varieties of squash are not as well known, they are still delicious and make a great addition to your garden. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, making them particularly fun to grow. No matter your experience level of gardening, you can try your hand at some of these unique and unusual squash.

What Is A Squash?
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Squash is a family of plants that comes in many varieties. The varieties can be broken down into winter or summer squash. Though culinarily it is considered to be a vegetable, botanically it is technically a fruit since it contains fruit.

Squash is generally mild tasting and is great for use in both savory and sweet recipes. They come with many great health benefits, making them a great addition to your diet. Though there are several varieties, they are all fleshy with a rine for protection.

What Is A Squash

Winter vs Summer

The major difference between summer squash and winter squash is their skins. Winter squash has tough skins that are not edible whereas summer squash has thin skins that you can eat. In addition, summer varieties tend to have more tender flesh that is quite moist.

Winter squash is often harvested from late summer to early winter. It is not commonly eaten raw but is popular for sauteing, roasting, grilling, and baking. Popular winter squash includes butternut and spaghetti.

Summer squash is harvested all throughout the summertime. It can be eaten raw, but it is also great for baking, grilling, sauteing, steaming, and roasting. Popular varieties of summer squash include zucchini, yellow squash, and pattypan.

Summer squash will often only last a few days after picking. However, winter varieties can last much longer, but they must be picked at maturity as they will not ripen any more after you harvest them.

Types Of Rare Squash

There are many different varieties of squash available today. Though you will often come across zucchini, pattypan, yellow squash, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash, these varieties are much less common. However, though they might not be as popular as other varieties, they are still great to grow and eat.

Though squash can come in summer or winter types, there tend to be more unusual winter squash varieties. They come in all sorts of shapes and varieties and make for a fun addition to your garden.

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Carnival

Carnival squash is a relatively new variety that is a cross between acorn squash and sweet dumpling squash. It is generally small to medium in size with ridged edges, coming in golden to creamy pale yellow with flecks of green. The flesh is tender and creamy while being a touch sweet.

You can find Carnival squash at specialty markets in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. It is great for soups and roasting.

Turban

Turban squash or  Turk’s Turban or French Turban first gained recognition in 1818 in France. It is a unique squash that looks like a mushroom. Oftentimes it is a combination of orange, green, and creamy white in color.

Turban squash makes a beautiful decorative centerpiece and is also great for eating as well. It is good for making stews and soups as well as roasting. It is sold across America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Delicata

Delicata squash, also known as bohemian squash, peanut squash, and sweet potato squash, grows in an oblong shape. It is generally bright yellow in color with green stripes and has a mild yet sweet flavor along with a tender rind. It is great for use in baked goods such as muffins, bread, and cakes, along with soups.

Lakota

Lakota squash is pear-shaped in appearance with orange and green stripes. Not only does it make a beautiful fall decoration, but it is also great for eating as well, particularly as a soup. It has a rich history as it took over a century to create.

Buttercup

With a squatty round shape and dark green skin, buttercup squash has a unique appearance. Though they are often decorative, they have sweet, creamy flesh. They can be great for using in baked goods, pasta, and soups.

Kabocha

Kabocha makes up a small family of squashes, such as Sunshine Kabocha, which is often referred to as Japanese pumpkins. They have dark green skin with green or white stripes and are the sweetest of all the winter varieties. They have many uses including soup, pies, and baked goods, as they taste similar to sweet potatoes.

Blue Hubbard

Blue Hubbard is a large variety of squash that range in weight from 12 to 20 pounds.  They have a light blue coloring with a taste similar to sweet potatoes. Dense and starchy, they are great for roasting, soups, and pies.

Honeynut

Honeynut squash comes from butternut and buttercup squash. They look like mini butternut squash but they have a richer orange coloring and sweeter flavor. They are great for many recipes including roasting, soups, and sauteing.

Honeynut Squash

Red Kuri

Red Kuri squash has a distinctive teardrop shape with bright orange skin. They originate from Japan and have flesh that is delicate with a nutty flavor. It is a great variety for making soups, roasting, and grilling.

FAQs

How many types of squash exist?

Squash is a large, summer and winter-growing fruit with the general shape of a pumpkin, but more spherical than cylindrical. There are hundreds of varieties of squash, ranging in size from less than an inch to more than two feet. The name "squash" is also used to describe other fruits with similar shape and texture, such as pumpkins, zucchini, crookneck, and pattypan.

Summer squash varieties include pattypan, acorn, crookneck, and butternut. Winter squash varieties include pumpkin, Hubbard, delicata, and spaghetti.

Which type of squash is the sweetest?

I know that butternut squash is pretty sweet.
I would add that acorn squash is pretty mild, too. They have a lot of natural sugars in them, which caramelizes during roasting, making them sweeter. If you like to bake, then try baking them at 350°F for 45 minutes (they will still be firm) and then finish baking at 450°F for 15-20 minutes, until tender.
 Squash are a member of the gourd family and are in the same botanical family as cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and watermelons. They have a smooth skin with a hard rind, and they are generally yellow, orange, or green in color.

What is the most popular squash?

Butternut. It’s true. According to the USDA, more than 50% of all squash consumed in the United States is butternut.It requires no special equipment and grows quickly. For many families, butternut squash becomes a staple at Thanksgiving.
It’s high in vitamin A and B vitamins, contains lots of fiber, and it has a good amount of protein. Butternut squash is also easy to prepare. You can steam it, bake it, or roast it.

Can squash be eaten raw?

Yes, you can eat squash raw if it's cut up, but there are a few things to consider. You should make sure that the squash is fully ripe. Ripe squash is bright orange and soft. Avoid buying squash that looks green or has brown spots. You should try to buy organic squash. You don't need to use pesticides on your squash, but you do want to be careful about fertilizers and other chemicals that might be used in your garden.
You should avoid eating squash when they're still hard or unripe.
You can eat squash raw because it's high in vitamin A, which is important for your eyesight and immune system. Squash also contains a lot of fiber, which helps lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Squash is low in calories, so it's a great food for those who are trying to lose weight.

Unique And Unusual Squash Varieties

These weird-looking squash may seem unusual, but they are actually great to use in many different recipes. They are great for growing in your own garden and are awesome for cooking and baking within your kitchen. In addition, they come with many great health benefits that squash is famous for.

Do you have any questions regarding rare types of squash? If so, please ask any squash-related questions on these unique varieties in the comment section down below.

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