Identification Tips and Six Unique Squash to Discover
Countless people throughout the centuries have been sustained with nutrient-rich squashes. Squashes of many shapes, colors, size, and flavors have come and gone, making some hard to identify, yet we still have unique varieties today.
Unique Summer Squash
Most gardeners have experience growing squash like zucchini or yellow summer squash. Unless they browse seed catalogs, they have no idea how many choices of squash exist. Let’s discover some of the unique summer varieties available.
Tromboncino squash, also called Italian trombone squash, is a vining squash that produces fruit up to three feet long. The fruit has a long slender neck with a bulb-like end. The outer skin is usually light green. Trellising their six feet or longer vines is the best method of growing this Italian summer squash.
Eight Ball Squash
This round squash is a type of vining zucchini. The fruit is three to four inches in diameter, making it perfect for stuffing. There are dark green and yellow varieties of this hybrid squash. The green Eight Ball squash has a nutty, buttery taste: the yellow variety has a sweet taste.
These flying saucer-shaped squashes look more like a winter variety than a summer variety of squash. White, light green, yellow, and bi-color varieties are available.
Unique Winter Squash
Discovering unique winter squash can be an adventurous experience in both gardening and dining. Sometimes the odd shapes and hard rind can be intimidating, but it need not be so. There is no reason to just decorate in the fall with winter squash. Beautifully colored winter squash can be easily prepared to satisfy any appetite. Let’s discover some winter varieties.
Most have seen this squash in a decorative holiday display, but few have grown or eaten this unique squash variety. This beautiful red, orange, green, and white striped squash appears to be a pumpkin stuffed in a bowl of the same colors. Turban squash is a very old (pre-1820) variety from France. Its thick orange flesh is known to make tasty soups.
Delicata squash is an old heirloom variety that Peter Henderson and Company introduced in 1894. It is also known as Bohemian squash or sweet potato squash. Some say Delicata squash tastes like sweet potatoes: others say it tastes like buttery sweet corn. This cream-colored fruit has dark green longitudinal stripes. Its yellowish-orange flesh has a sweet and nutty taste.
Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkins, weigh two to five pounds each. Their rind is dark green with occasional white or green stripes. The texture of their yellowish-orange flesh is of sweet potatoes crossed with pumpkins. The sweet, nutty-tasting flesh of Kabocha squash is used in soups, pies, and side dishes.
If you and your friends have no clue to the identity of the squash in your possession, check out online seed catalogs for photos and detailed information about many unique varieties. A local garden center can also provide you with invaluable information to help identify an unusual variety.