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For The Love Of Squash

9:22 PM

A favorite fall photo from the lovely self portrait no. 12 (see it here)

Fall = Pumpkins, right? Of course, but with all the pumpkinsanity out there doesn't it stand to reason that other squash might get their little feelings hurt? This time of year is great for pumpkin obsession, but it's also the perfect time to diversify your squash lovin'. This week will be full of savory squash goodness—it's healthy, it's allergy-free (unless you're allergic to it, of course) and it's absolutely delicious.

If you're going to cook it, you might as well know about it! Here's some squash enlightenment. 

Pumpkins vs. Squash vs. Gourds
It's confusing—made more so by the fact that the term varies regionally (our friends down under call everything pumpkins, for example). If you want to get technical, first know that all three come from the genus Cucurbita. Within this genus are several different species: C. mixta (Japanese pie pumpkins, cushaw squash), C. maxima (banana squash, buttercup squash, kabocha, etc.), C. moschata (butternut squash, long island cheese pumpkin, etc.), C. pepo (summer squash, zucchini, traditional pumpkins, etc.). So yeah, they're pretty much all brothers from different mothers.

Summer Squash vs. Winter Squash
This is an easier one! Summer squashes are those that are harvested when they're immature, so that they're edible and soft. Think zucchini, yellow squash and pattypan squash. Winter squashes are those that grow all summer and are harvested in the fall or winter, when the fruit has matured and the skin is hard. This would be your banana squash, butternut squash, kobocha (which we cooked last year and you can read about here!), acorn squash, spaghetti squash and many more.

Fruit vs. Veggie
Oh, this one is tricky! In cooking, squash is considered a vegetable. Botanically speaking, however, it's a fruit because it is the receptacle for the plant's seeds.

Want to tell your ambercup from your autumn cup from your butternut from your buttercup? Check out these great images from WhatsCookingAmerica.

See you tomorrow for some delicious squash-mania!

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