Hello and Welcome back to Kitchen Catastrophes! I’m your host and resident amateur botany expert, Jon O’Guin. Last Wednesday, I began an in-depth look into Squash, in order to get us all invested in this Fall staple, now that the season has officially begun. I also suffered a mild psychotic break, and Alan had to intervene because I had just TOO MANY SQUASHES for one day’s consumption. As such, we’re wrapping up our list today, and it’s not at all because Alan and I failed to cook anything last week. GOOD? GREAT.
Where were we? Squash comes from a Native American language, Trump looks like one, Butternut squashes look like frat guy dicks. Up to speed? Great.
“AND THESE LOOK JUST LIKE MY-“ Let it go, Trev. Also, you may have jaundice.
That title is an old inside joke. Not the reference to an old Spaghetti-o’s commercial, that’s common knowledge. No, about 4 years ago, I mistook a Spaghetti squash for a butternut for a recipe I was cooking. As the pictures last Wednesday and today may show, that took a fair bit of screwing up to do, but I did it. Compounding that error was the soon to be learned fact that Spaghetti Squash takes a fair bit longer to cook than butternut, and the meat separates into noodle-like strands. It makes a fun side, and is basically its own Spiralizer, but if you try to use it when you want Butternut, you will end up unhappy.
What do you call Lunch Meat Karate? Deli-Kata!
I hate Title Jon so much.
Ugh. Definitely, Caption Jon. Glad we’re in agreement.
Delicata squash is a relatively…God, that pun is still upsetting me.
Anywho, Delicata is a relatively unknown squash in America, because it almost died out in The Great Depression due to a susceptibility to mildew diseases. We didn’t really make it commercially between then and 2002, when some plant scientists made a disease-resistant strain. It’s catching on now, notable for being less sweet than other squashes, but frequently more creamy. Some call it “better than Butternut”. That’s a big claim. It’s also called the “Sweet Potato Squash” because of that creamy, sweet taste. Also, its peel is thin (or “delicate”) enough to eat.
Hubbard-Hubbard, Hot Stuff
With puns like these, who needs enemies? Also, these look just like TRUMP’S-
And we’re no longer in agreement. Goddamn it, Caption Jon. I can never unsee that.
When you see a Hubbard, you will almost always think “Oh, that’s a decorative one.” They’re really knobby, and typically quite vibrantly colored. Best to ask the seller to make sure it’s an edible variety, however. It’s best pureed, because the flesh can be a little mealy or gritty, so you can use this instead of Pumpkin for a pie pretty easy.
There are remarkably few puns for Calabeza
I swear to you, I had no intent to make so many genital jokes when I started this post. Hell, I didn’t even notice how suggestive most of these images were until far too late. Like, I wrote the joke about the Butternut squash, and it’s just spiraled out of control. Anyway…*ahem* More like “cala-breast-as”, am I right?
GODDAMNIT CAPTION JON.
CALABEZAS ARE A MYTH. MADE UP TO FORCE ME INTO MAKING EVEN WORSE PUNS.
(In actuality, they’re basically butternut squash, but look like a tiny pumpkin, with a super-hard rind. Like “Whack it with a cleaver” hard. They’re popular in the Caribbean, and can basically be used for anything Butternut can.)
Konichiwa to Kabocha
Is that title racist? Like, sure, it’s a Japanese squash, but just become it originally came from Japan doesn’t mean it speaks Japanese. Wait, it’s a plant. I’m overthinking this again.
This Japanese squash is a bit of a weird one: depending on the breed, it can range from being sweeter than a Butternut to tasting like a Russet Potato. And that’s a really big flavor range. It’s a little denser than most squash, and its texture has been called “drier” or “fluffier” than most squash. You CAN eat the rind, but most don’t. (Extra Language fact: “Kabocha” in Japanese just means “Pumpkin”, referring to both this plant, and “real” pumpkins. Which…we’ll get into in a moment.)
My Sweet lil Pumpkin
I always thought food based nicknames for loved ones were a little weird. Like, on the one hand, I get it, food literally sustains you and keeps you alive, it’s something you enjoy, the sexual connotations of “eating”. On the other hand, food eventually goes bad, and you can get sick of the same food every day. Well, Honey doesn’t go bad. So I guess that one works. Wait, this is the second caption I’ve…Oh God, Text Jon infected me with Last week’s Over-analysis!
AHAHAHAHA. Now that he’s been consumed, I have to lead off this entry with the following fact: Pumpkins aren’t real.
By which I mean that there isn’t one “Pumpkin” plant. Most pumpkins are members of Cucurbita Maxima. But you know what else is? The Hubbard Squash from earlier. Further, multiple pumpkins AREN’T in that species, but in other species that overlap with OTHER squashes: Acorn Squash is the same plant as “field pumpkins” and Zucchini; Butternut Squash pairs with Dickenson Pumpkins, they’re all crossing and crisscrossing. It’s the whole cultivar thing with Cauliflower, Cabbage, and Kale all over again.
Despite that, Pumpkins are, much more than Butternut, the VISUAL emblem of Autumn. They are the bounty of the harvest given form, with seeds and flesh by the pound. They’re the only vegetable to basically own a holiday. Turkeys may have Thanksgiving, and Chocolate gets Valentine’s, but Halloween is Pumpkin’s day.
One last fun fact: a study of smells at a Chicago lab, the smell of pumpkin and Rosemary was rated the most arousing scent by men. It was the SECOND most arousing for women. I’m not saying that your next date night could use a little bit of Italian-style roast squash on the side, I’m just pointing out…You gotta keep these fall nights warm somehow.
NEXT TIME: ALAN TRIES TO SUCCESSFULLY FOR ONCE MAKE MAKE THAI FOOD. HE PROBABLY WON'T SUCCEED. HE NEVER DOES