Carnival of flavors

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.

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