Banana Squash (Cucurbita maxima)
Banana squash is a winter squash with an elongated shape and thick rind.
Depending on the cultivar, the skin can be green, light blue, salmon pink, ivory, pale yellow, orange or variegated.
The size can be up to 3ft (90cm) long and 8-inches (20cm) in diameter. The average weight is about 10Ib (9kg) but can reach 35Ib (16kg).
The flesh is thick, finely textured and firm with a bright orange flesh. The flavour is rich, sweet and earthy with sweeter blue and green varieties.
Cooking: Banana squash can be steamed, roasted, baked or grilled.
What is a winter squash?
All winter squashes belong to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae. They are variable in size, shape, and colour, ranging from white to yellow, orange and even light blue.
Winter squashes are harvested when mature unlike summer squashes that are harvested when immature.
They have a thick rind (skin) and a longer shelf-life compared to summer squashes. The skin hardens during storage and is inedible.
The flesh is orange or yellow, has beta carotene and complex carbohydrates.
The seeds are discarded but pumpkin seeds can be eaten if toasted and husked.
Storage of Winter Squashes
They can keep up to three months at home and longer in a commercial facility. Store in a cool, dry place above 50ºF (10ºC). Cut squash will last up to one week, wrapped airtight in the fridge crisper.
Availability: late summer, throughout fall and winter, becoming scarce in spring.