Delicata squash gets its name from its rind, which is delicate for a winter squash. It won’t keep as long as butternut or acorn varieties, which may last until April or May, but you can still have that taste of summer in mid-January if you store the squash in cool, dark conditions.
The thin rind also makes Delicata easy to work with. It’s a small, oblong squash, pale yellow with dark green stripes. The flesh is orange, fine textured and sweet (another name for the plant is “sweet potato squash.”) It’s easy to grow and it ripens early.
The cultivar most likely originated in Europe. The French naturalist and botanist Charles Victor Naudin illustrated the squash in 1856. It was introduced to Americans in 1894 by Peter Henderson & Co., a seed purveyor in New York.
If you’ve never tasted a Delicata squash, you’re in for a treat. An Internet search yields hundreds of recipes – grilled, stuffed, roasted, baked and sautéed – along with mouth-watering photos.
We’ll be giving out Delicata squash seeds at the Spring on Main street fair in Margaretville, Saturday May 14th from 10 am to 3 pm. Come by, say hello, and take home some seeds to get your garden growing. See you at the fair!