Saturday, November 01, 2008

Turban Squash

The UN declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato. Not that I haven't been indulging potatoes, but for me 2008 is turning out to be the Year of the Squash.

The one to the right is called a turban squash. I was going to say it's aptly named but, truth be told, I haven't seen too many turbans in my life - odd given that Wikipedia's Turban entry says, "Humans have been wearing cloth on their heads since the invention of cloth."

Looking around ...

I see how this squash got its name.

As with my other winter squashes, I scrubbed this and put it into the oven whole, at 320ºF. It fully softens in about 1.5 to 2 hours. I made sure to pierce it as it cooked so it didn't explode.

I let it cool for another hour or so and then dug in. I'm amazed at the differences in taste and texture of all these squashes. This one was much milder than a kabocha or buttercup (not the same as butternut). Its flesh was more yellow than orange, and it was slightly more fibrous than a sweet dumpling, carnival, or acorn squash. I've learned though that taste and texture can be different for the same squash depending on how it was grown, when it was harvested, how it was stored (temperature/humidity), and how long it was stored. I don't think I'd return to this one. It's beautiful but its taste isn't as memorable as others ... that cook in less time.

(By the way, I retried a kabocha squash, a true kabocha squash. It's growing on me. It's still pungent - musky and grassy - but after you get used to it you want more .... and more. Kabocha, I found, is very much like buttercup. They look similar (except for buttercup's bottom swelling) and they're both very sweet with deep orange flesh and not fibrous. They're definitely worth a try. Or two.)
The two photos of people wearing turbans were taken by (I think) Karl Grobl. He has some gorgeous photography on his site.
Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring (a painting I was fortunate enough to see in person. It's so tiny - hardly more than a foot across.) is from Wikipedia.
The photo of the turban squash was taken by me. All pics are enlargeable by clicking.

No comments: