When it comes to squash, there are many more varieties than most of us are familiar with. We asked Adam Hohl, a farmer who grows more than 125 different varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds at Harvestville Farm in southeast Iowa, what unique varieties he’d recommend. Here are his top picks:
Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato—a high-yielding heirloom squash with hints of sweet potato and a sweet chestnut flavor. “If you like acorns, definitely try this variety—this is our personal favorite in the acorn family,” Adam says.
Delicata—an oblong squash with cream-colored skin and long dark-green stripes. This sweet squash has skin that is tender enough to eat and is excellent roasted with the skin on. If you like butternut, but hate taking the time to peel, try this variety.
Sunshine—a bright orange kabocha squash that is sweet and excellent for baking and pies. The sunshine squash has a superior eating quality compared to other varieties of this type.
Sweet Dumpling—one of the sweetest squashes; very similar to a delicata but much smaller at about 4" across. Its small size makes it perfect for a personal serving or for stuffing.
Pink Banana—a large pinkish-orange squash that grows between 2 and 3 feet long and can weigh up to 30 pounds. It has a firm, sweet, yellow-orange flesh that is excellent for pies, baking and canning. “We use this in place of pumpkin for all of our recipes,” Adam says. “Another great quality of this squash is that, after you roast it, you do not have to puree the meat like you do with a pumpkin.”
Long Island Cheese—a medium to large tan-skinned squash that resembles a wheel of cheese. The flesh is a deep orange and moderately sweet and is excellent for making pies. It also has a long storage life.
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF HARVESTVILLEFARM.COM.