Butternut squash, a fruit actually, not a vegetable, is a staple of fall and winter cooking. For a long time, pumpkin was the most popular squash on the block. Now, as butternut squash becomes increasingly popular, it may have some competition.
Butternut squash is nutty, earthy, and fairly sweet, it’s actually quite often compared to butterscotch. It’s rich, moist, and flavorful. It has a texture that’s slightly softer than a baked sweet potato.
There are a few different types of butternut squash, and each has its own unique flavors and textures. Also, like most foods, the way a food is prepared will have an effect on its taste and how it feels.
Types of Butternut Squash
While there are different types of butternut squash, they aren’t widely different from each other. Nor are there a huge variety of types. However, to give you the best idea of what butternut squash tastes like, let’s go through them.
Rogosa Violina Gioia
Often called one of the best tasting butternut squash varieties, Rogosa Violina Gioia is sweet, nutty, and especially smooth. It tends to have a perfect balance of sweetness to nutty flavors, which makes for an excellent taste.
One of the issues with butternut squash can sometimes be its texture. Some types of squash have a very stringy flesh, but this type is very smooth. It blends easily and makes dishes creamy.
Butter Boy Hybrid
This type of butternut squash is very sweet, with a somewhat less nutty flavor.
Due to their extreme sweetness, these types of butternut squash are often used in pies.
Like the Butter Boy, this type is also heavy on sweetness. However, it has more of a nutty flavor to go along with it.
The flesh is tender and smooth with little stringiness.
This butternut squash is fairly mild. It has only small tastes of both sweetness and nuttiness. However, it is very tender which makes it ideal to blend into soups.
Cooking a Butternut Squash
Again, depending on how you cook it, the squash can taste and feel differently.
Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasting butternut squash tends to bring out the sweetness in the fruit. Cooking in this way also gives the squash the texture of a sweet potato. Try it with some spicy pepper to balance out the sweetness.
Butternut Squash Soup
Blending the squash into a soup makes for a creamy, thick, rich, somewhat silky texture. When made this way the butternut squash has a nice sweetness with a bit of an earthy flavor.
Boiling Butternut Squash
If you’re looking for a somewhat mushy texture, boiling your squash is the method you’re after. Once the squash has finished cooking don’t drain it thoroughly. This will give you a nice soft squash that you can easily mash with a fork.
If you add a little salt to the water, you’ll bring out some of the sweetness of the squash. This way won’t need to add as many spices later on.
To Sum Up
Butternut squash is a sweet, nutty fruit that has a bit of earthiness. It’s often compared to the taste of butterscotch.
Depending on the type of squash and preparatory method, you can end up with different flavors and textures.
If you want a sweet butternut squash, look for a Butter Boy Hybrid, it’s extra sweet with only a little nutty flavor. However, if you want a more mild flavor, try an Autumn Glow. It’s light on sweetness and on nuttiness but has a nice subtle flavor.