Tell me your best-tasting, long-storing winter squash

tcstoehrSeptember 22, 2008

I love growing winter squashes, particularly for their storage abilities, and they're pretty too. I've only previously done Butternut and had reasonable success.

This year I tried "Golden Hubbard" and had one for dinner last night. No lie, I cut it with a DeWalt 18 volt reciprocating saw, which by the way, I would recommend to anyone else trying to crack one of these things open.

It was barely tolerable to eat. I think maybe it still wasn't ripe as the few seeds in it were small and immature-looking.

Anyway, it got me to thinking I should pay alot more attention to taste than looks. The Golden Hubbards do make a stunning seasonable Fall display. But I have read here and there that their taste isn't so good, even when fully ripe.

So... what super-tasty winter squashes are out there? Buttercups? Sugar Hubbard? Banana Pink?

I don't want to plant anymore stinkers.

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I've only grown a handful of different winter squashes. I really like good old fashioned Waltham Butternut Squashes. Easy to grow, let you know when they are ripe, store for a long time and are tasty.

In late winter / early spring you will be able to get them in the "cheap seeds" at various different stores. I think I paid ten cents for my first package of seeds and have been using saved seeds since!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 3:16PM
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It really depends on your personal taste. Butternuts are great tasting, excellent keepers and are available in sizes ranging 1 1/2 to about 20 lbs. In general C. moshatas are great tasting, good keepers, and SVB resistant. Hubbards ( Green, Blue, Chicago) hvae good flavor for processed dishes like pies. They are large (excess of ten lbs) require an axe, machete, or chainsaw to open, but are practically indestructable. A popular sister C. maxima is the buttercup ( burgess strain is the old favorite, but the the Japanese ( Kabocha) is coming on.If you like a single serving baking type, Gold Nugget an acorn size C. maxima has in my opinion more flavor tha acorns. Of course the acorns (C. pepo) keep fairly well ( couple of months) and are popular as a single serving baking squash. Bush Table Queen has been my best performer but there are dozens of them out there. Delicatas are also C. pepo and popular with many folks as small baking squash. Going back to processed dishes, cheese pumpkins ( C moschata) are arguably the best, but I prefer Cushaws ( C. mixta). New England pie, Sugar pie and the like ( C.pepo) are popular with some folks.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 5:47PM
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That Gold Hubbard must not have been ripe. It should be a fabulous eating variety!

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 11:19AM
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david52 Zone 6

Try the two hybrids from Johnny's - Cha Cha and Confection. 2 - 4 lbs, thick, really flavorful squash that keep for months.

If you want big and flavorful, try Maria d'Chiogga (sp) Tastes great, but maybe what, 15 - 20 lbs?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:54AM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

Seminole. It's smallish, hard shelled so the squirrels can't get to the seeds, very long storing and delicious flesh. Also a buff tear-drop shape, very attractive. I make primarily soup and this one is excellent for that purpose (better than butternut).

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 6:51PM
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I agree with David52 on the Marina d'Chioggia as for great taste. I would also recommend Tahitian melon Squash (which has the highest sugar content of all winter squash) and Wangaparoa Crown (SSE lists it as Crown Prince)it will remain in great condition for a year or more.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 5:00PM
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Thanks for all the input. I plan on trying the Marina d'Chioggia and Galeux D'eysines from C. Maxima. I think I'll stay away from the Hubbard gigantic heavily armored varieties for the time being. Maybe try one of the smaller varieties. Butternut seems a good keeper though. I've cooked a couple of this year's crop and they're good. I think I'll try Long Island Cheese for a companion Moschata next season.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 5:03PM
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littie(z5 W. WA)

What's the right temperature for storing squash - mine usually rot.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 6:51PM
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I think that the idea is between 50 and about 37 F. Sometimes I've stored mine under the bed, which is warmer. A key in storage is to make sure that you use damaged fruits first and be sure that they are fully ripe before picking. If a fruit has an insect hole or spot of dry rot, etc. I cook it down very soon. If I can't use it right away, then I cook it and bag it in 2 cup portions, freezing them in ziplock bags.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 9:35AM
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I grew Confection for the first time because I wanted a dry squash, similiar to Buttercup, that kept well. I don't know how long it will keep but this is the dryest squash I've ever cooked. I added some evaporated milk and should have added more. I've been searching recipes so I'm sure I can do a better job the next time. It was so dry it was mealy. In the past we've been careful not to overcook Buttercup because it can get watery. (I don't usually cook Butternut because we think it's too watery.) But Confection although nice tasting needs some extra liquid. On my plate, out of desperation, I mixed in some apple sauce. I'm not sure I would grow it again. We have enjoyed Kabocha varieties from the market but this year we were able to grow winter squash. I got the seed from Johnnie's. We'll have to see how they do in storage since my husband's family felt lucky to have Buttercup last until Christmas. Any thoughts/advice on how Confection compares with other Kabocha varieties?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 9:49AM
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david52 Zone 6

As far as storage, they all seem about the same, but that has to do more with you're storage conditions. I keep mine, routinely, from early Sept until April of the next year - but its really dry here.

Yea, Confection can be dry, but that seems to vary between individual squash. I also notice it gets more noticeable later in the storage season.

But we ate a couple last night, just cut in half, scooped, and baked, and they weren't that 'flaky' dry - but certainly not soggy.

If they get really dry and flaky, try peeling them raw, with a potato peeler, dice up about 1" dia, and frying them in olive oil (Or butter :-)) until they're getting tan, and spritz on some citrus.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 9:12PM
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David, thanks for the recipe suggestion. The recipe I tried last night worked well. After sauteeing onions, cubes of squash were sauteed. Piled in casserole dish with chicken broth. I doubled what the recipe called for. Baked. The squash absorbed the broth and it was a tasty dish. Confection has excellent flavor but I'm just going to have add lots of liquid. Without it, boiled squash is just mealy, flakey, way too dry. It will be interesting to see if there is variation among the squashes and how dry they will be after longer storage. Can't imagine they can get any drier. Perhaps that helps them store longer. We had a wet summer and got a good crop.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 7:48AM
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jwr6404(8B Wa)

Didn't know this forum existed. I've grown for 3 years a Winter Squash called Adapazari Squash.I got the original seed from Turkey. You can read about it on the heirloom Forum under Adapazari Squash. This year I planted 6 seeds and got 6 Squash weighing 5-20-22-22-46 &54 Lbs each. These are wonderful tasting Squash and make the best Pies I've ever eaten. The Mrs is Oriental and she makes a soup with them. The meat is very smooth,juicy and sweet. I'm told it a favorite squash in Turkey.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 9:15PM
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I really like Sweet Meat winter squash, and members of the variety have stored over 7 months without a problem.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:20AM
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Next year I am going to try and grow blue Hubbard, I have lots of SVB in the area, but with a large section of tulle netting I hope to keep the SVB off, and hand pollinate the flowers.
I heard that the easiest way to open them is simply to drop them onto a hard floor, and have them crack open.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:20PM
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My favorites ever are Jumbo Pink Banana, Guatamalan Blue, Sibley (all3 are bananas). Super storage ability. Taste is through the roof great on all 3!
All maximas.

Lastly I love Seminole as well. Moschata.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 10:23PM
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