Unlike summer squash, winter squash are fully matured and have hard, thick (and generally inedible) skins. This allows them to last longer, especially when stored in a cool, dark, and dry place.
Here's what to look for when you're at the market:
• Weight: Choose a squash that is heavy for its size.
• Stem: The stem should be intact, firm, and dry.
• Color: Each variety has its own color (or colors), but in general choose squash that is rich and deep in color. A pale spot where the gourd rested on the ground is okay as long as it is not green.
• Surface: The skin should be dull and matte. Shiny skin indicates that the squash was picked too early.
• Avoid: Cuts, cracks, and soft spots, which can lead to mold growth. If the skin can be easily nicked, the squash was harvested too early.
Any other tips to share?
(Image: Emily Ho)