September 21, 2008

Buttercup Squash

Filed under: food — origamifreak @ 7:19 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

After reading about Lisa’s butternut squach gnocci and talking to her about it this morning, I recalled my post last autumn when I compared various squashes and buttercup won.  I bet that recipe (which already sounds wonderful) would be EVEN BETTER using buttercup.

On the outside it is not an attractive fruit. Here is a picture of some buttercup squash I am planning on baking this weekend for the rest of the week’s lunches:

Since the previous post was on a different blogging host and will eventually go away, I will paste it here:

BUTTERCUP, by a Landslide!

In my ongoing quest for the ultimate perfect baked winter squash, I’ve been trying different varieties.

In my earlier Squash-Offs I’ve tried acorn, carnival, delicata, and butternut. First delicata won, then butternut.

Not tonight. I’d read about buttercup and decided it would probably be up my alley (dry, creamy flesh, sweet), and got one at Wegmans last week. Didn’t get around to baking it until tonight, against acorn and butternut. Omigosh, there’s no comparison. Buttercup, hands-down.

Kudos to whomever bred such a lovely thing*. And I don’t care if the seeds are hard to separate. I can buy other squashes just for their seeds, if necessary!


P.S. Nothing that tastes this good should be only ONE POINT for a cup of it**.

* After some hunting around, I have discovered I have AF Yeager and E. Latzke, North Dakota plant breeders to thank:

Yeager, A.F. and E. Latzke. Buttercup Squash: Its Origin and Use. Fargo, ND: Agricultural Experiment Station, North Dakota Agricultural College, 1932. Bulletin/North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station no. 258. 19 p. NAL 100 N813 no.258

In 1922 North Dakota researchers Yeager and Latzke undertook a squash breeding program that was initially focused on the Hubbard squash. Their aim was to develop a desirable variety that would take the place of the sweet potato, which had proved unsatisfactory in variety testing in the region. This report, issued ten years hence, describes the origin of the Buttercup variety, a small turban-shaped squash selected from an accidental cross of Quality and Essex Hybrid, and also considers growing methods and the variety’s cooking and food qualities. A good portion of the bulletin consists of general instructions for cooking and several dozen recipes (p. 13-19). With black-and-white photos, and bibliography (sources cited in footnotes).

** Turns out the SEEDS are where all the fat and calories are. 5 points for 1/4 cup! I guess kittens know this too, because they beg for them (well, at least the orange one does). Yikes. I better put those Away.



  1. Thanks for the link! Those buttercups look kinda like what my next door Bengali neighbours are growing – but theirs are greener on the outside (and not yet ripe – one has come over the fence and I’m hoping it will fall off the vine before they harvest and pull it back over to their side of the fence…). What does the inner flesh look like on your squash? The flesh of theirs is BRIGHT orange. You could post a picture of one of them cut in half – along with the whole ones, maybe. I hope you read this before you eat them! 🙂

    Anyway, even if the one growing over our fence isn’t buttercup, maybe I can find one in one of the more ‘ethnic’ shops around here. It looks vaguely familiar. I’m not a big fan of squash (or sweet potatoes or beetroot. I suspect it’s because I associate these foods with Autumn – not my favourite time of year, by a long shot. But they come in the box, so I have to eat ’em! Maybe if I can come up with more interesting ways of cooking them I will like them better! I’m thinking of doing some sort of African dish with the sweet potatoes and, maybe, a Thai curry with the other butternut squash. Will keep you ‘posted’ ;D xx

    Comment by Sofia T. Catt — September 21, 2008 @ 7:56 am | Reply

  2. Lisa thanks you for the comments!

    Comment by Sofia T. Catt — September 22, 2008 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

  3. Excellent! And so timely, too. 🙂 I absolutely love squash, especially winter squash, though I must admit that while I’ve seen buttercup, I’d never tried it . . . so many veggies, so few meals, I guess.

    But this weekend is my bi-weekly trip to the public market, and I’d already decided to stock up on butternut this week – perhaps a variety is more in order, eh?

    Thanks again, OF, for the heads up!

    Comment by Toy Lady — September 25, 2008 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  4. Glad to be of help. I would never have tried it myself, if I hadn’t read glowing reviews of its flavor and texture.

    By the way, the sweetness really comes out if you bake it cut side up. If you bake it cut side down the effect is more like steaming. The sugar doesn’t have a chance to caramelize, and because the water is trapped you don’t get that lovely, creamy, dry texture.

    Comment by origamifreak — September 27, 2008 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

  5. That makes perfect sense – it looks somewhat like an oversized acorn squash – my first inclination would be to cook it essentially the same way. . .

    Comment by Toy Lady — September 29, 2008 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  6. OMG. There is apparently an INSANE number of named buttercup and kabocha varieties:

    I cannot tell you what kind(s) I’ve been eating, other than the fact that they’re dark green with greyish stripes and a ring at the blossom end. Some are cylindrical, some are lenticular, some have an obvious little cap, while others do not. And these are all from the same bin at the market.

    And when I bake them CUT SIDE UP at 375 F for 1.5 hours, I get a lovely thing with dense, sweet, dry, carmelized orange flesh.

    But which exact variety? No clue.

    Comment by origamifreak — October 5, 2008 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  7. […] And the local Mennonite store has bins of winter squash (specifically Buttercup). […]

    Pingback by Greens and Squash and Beets, oh my! « Manifolds — October 5, 2008 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  8. After our trip to the farmer’s market the weekend, we had to go into Wegmans, and I couldn’t help comparing. . . of the squash I had just picked up at 3/$1.00 – they had no blue hubbard (no surprise there), the buttercups were listed at, I think, slightly over a buck a pound (my 35-cent personal-sized squashes weighed in at a pound and a pound and a quarter), and the delicata was lumped in a big bin with “gourds.” 🙄

    Comment by Toy Lady — October 5, 2008 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

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