5 Quick Tips For Choosing Winter Squash

published Oct 18, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We get positively giddy as soon as the butternut, acorn, kabocha, and other winter squashes hit the market. Do you know how to choose a good one? Here are five things we look for when shopping for winter squash.

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)