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Best winter squash

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Best winter squash

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/12/2011, 4:08 pm

PapaVino and I both love a good, dry-meat, long-keeping winter squash. We live in the Pacific Northwest. We're looking for something new, to add to or replace Butternut and Sweet Meat. What do you consider the best winter squash for taste, rather dry meat, and good keeping quality? Also, tell us how you store your squashes. Do you wash them? Just dust them off? Store them on racks, or on the floor? Please share any other wisdom you have in this respect. Thanks, Nonna.Papavino

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Re: Best winter squash

Post  Megan on 2/12/2011, 4:11 pm

I adore my zucchino rampicante. They can be used as summer squash when less mature, too. Long necks have no seeds.

I have two big ones (about 6 pounds) sitting on my kitchen floor right now. I didn't do anything special for them, just brought them inside.

The one thing to look out for is that you need to keep the skin intact. If there is a nick or a hole, they will start, slowly, to go bad on you. (Small blemishes from cuke beetles will heal over while growing.)
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Re: Best winter squash

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/12/2011, 4:24 pm

Megan, I never thought to treat zucchino rampicante, or trombicino (as listed in Territorial's seed catalog) as a winter squash! It's our favorite for summer zucchini-like squash because all the seeds are clustered in one end, and they don't cook down to "mush." Usually I pick them at ten inches or under. So, when do you harvest them for winter storage? Does the flesh become something like, I don't know, butternut maybe? Inquiring minds want to know. Nonna

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Re: Best winter squash

Post  Megan on 2/12/2011, 5:10 pm

Nonna,

I only knew to try it because Baker Creek lists it as usable as a winter squash, too:

http://rareseeds.com/vegetables-p-z/squash/summer-squash/zucchino-rampicante-zucca-d-albenga.html

You'll know when they turn. They will get big, 3 feet or more isn't unusual, and eventually the fruit will stop getting longer and filling out. The bulb end will pouch out more, stem gets a bit thicker. 5-6 pounds seems to be what mine maxed out at. Sometime during this process, they go through a color change--first green/white striped, and then become a light tan.

I just took this photo a few minutes ago. You can see it is a keeper!



You are going to laugh at me, but I haven't actually cut into one of my big boys yet, as this is my first year growing them. But everything I've read says that they are just as good as winter squash as they are as a summer squash. I am thinking they will be something like a butternut. There is an intermediate period where they seem to be sort of a summer and sort of a winter squash and I did cook some in that stage. The flesh was fine-grained and slightly sweetish.


Last edited by Megan on 2/12/2011, 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Best winter squash

Post  camprn on 2/12/2011, 5:14 pm

Great Photo! If you don't bust into one of them soon we're going to have to call them Spring squash. Very Happy
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Re: Best winter squash

Post  Megan on 2/12/2011, 5:15 pm

LOL... them and the pickles I made from them!

Here's another shot:

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Re: Best winter squash

Post  Megan on 2/12/2011, 5:27 pm

Here are some interesting reviews of this squash. They support its value as a winter squash.

http://vegvariety.cce.cornell.edu/mainSearch/detail.php?ID=1058
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Re: Best winter squash

Post  boffer on 2/12/2011, 6:54 pm

My wife tells me that we prefer Amber Cup and Golden Nugget. I have no idea why those are our favorites! But I agree that they're good. Wink

I have an insulated, unheated equipment shed, pitch black and dry inside, that stays under 40* most of winter. I pick and store, no cleaning. I keep my squashes on a wire rack for air circulation all around. They seem to mold easily if they touch each other. I've got a few left; I don't know how much longer they will last.

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Re: Best winter squash

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/12/2011, 8:51 pm

Oh, Megan, what a fine set of pictures....mostly of the three tuxedo cats stalking your zuccheta. I so do love tuxedos... we had three, too, until this past summer, now we only have Ms. LickRish, 8 years, who is PapaVino's shadow, and dedicated lap cat. Also, you convinced me. We MUST have tromboccino, zuccheta, whatever it's called, again this year. Thank you, Nonna

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Re: Best winter squash

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/20/2011, 10:36 pm

We did it, Megan, on your recommendation, we have added an additional hill of trombonccino/zuccheta in the North garden, and will save one or two to try as a winter squash. Thanks for the information......do you give out your recipe for the pickles?

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