Every time you turn around, it seems there's another new winter squash on the shelf. Here's a rundown of some of a baker's dozen we found in several forays into Southland markets.
Winter squash seem to be defined by three variables: texture, sweetness and a kind of green-nut vegetal flavor we'll call "squashiness."
* Acorn--Semi-smooth, rich, semisweet, semi-squashy. A middle-of-the-road squash.
* Banana--Frequently sold in pieces, semi-smooth and bland.
* Butternut--Semi-fibrous, very sweet and nutty with just a hint of squashiness.
* Carnival--Slightly fibrous, complex flavor, rich, sweet and earthy.
* Delicata--Very smooth, very vegetal.
# Golden Acorn--Semi-smooth, not very sweet, fairly squashy.
* Golden Nugget--Very smooth, semisweet, not much squash.
* Green-Striped Turban--Very smooth, fairly vegetal.
* Kabocha--Fairly smooth, very sweet with a nice squashy edge.
* Red Kuri--Semi-fibrous, less sweet and more strongly squashy than most.
* Spaghetti--Stringy and fibrous, bland, slightly squashy.
* Sugar Pumpkin--Semi-fibrous, very bland with a slight vegetal edge.
* Table Queen--Smooth, like an acorn squash.
* White Acorn--Semi-fibrous and very vegetal.