What Is A Squash ?
Most people in the United States love squashes, especially such squash family members like zucchinis and pumpkins. Squashes are broadly divided into two kinds – the winter or autumn squash and the summer squash.
The summer and winter squash are different in certain ways; while the winter variety comes with a hard skin, need to be cooked for sometime before it becomes edible, and can be stored for long periods of time, the summer squash comes with a much thinner skin and thus does not require extensive cooking before one can eat it. Also, storing a summer squash is not as easy when compared to its winter counterpart.
Early evidence of cultivating squash was first found in Mesoamerica, and is believed to have been done about 8,000 to 10,000 years back. Squash belong to what is known as the ‘three sisters’, or the three kinds of indigenous plants that used to be planted by Native Americans. These three plants include maize, beans and squash, are generally planted side by side.
The squashes which are harvested during what is called the ‘growing season’ are commonly referred to as summer squashes, which include yellow crookneck, pattypan and zucchini. These plants give fruits which are smaller in size than winter squashes, with skin that is thinner and need to be consumed as soon as possible. Winter squashes include such vegetables like pumpkin, butternut, ambercup, spaghetti squash, Hubbard and buttercup. These are the more mature squashes and can be stored for quite a long time.
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