Pump­kins and squash are gourd for eat­ing as well as carv­ing. This fall, don’t just fo­cus on your Jack O’Lantern, cook up a feast with a but­ter­nut

The Playa Times Riviera Maya's English Newspaper - - Tpt Foodies - BY CATHER­INE PAWELEK

With Hal­loween and the Day of the Dead just around the cor­ner, why not in­cor­po­rate pump­kins or squash into your menu? As a side dish, th­ese gourds pack a pow­er­ful punch. This fall, make a prom­ise not to use any canned ver­sions, but in­stead sim­mer, boil, bake, puree, smash, steam and stuff th­ese won­der­fully ver­sa­tile fruits.

Types of Pump­kins and Squash

There are many hard, thick-skinned cal­abazas, with names like acorn and but­ter­nut, and many evoke the au­tumn months with orange and yel­low col­ors. From oval to round and a kalei­do­scopic of col­ors, you would imag­ine each of th­ese fruits to taste dif­fer­ent. Sur­prise, sur­prise! They have a sim­i­lar fla­vor pro­file, and over­all quite bland and wa­tery if not ma­ture enough. A pinch of nut­meg, cumin, curry or cin­na­mon, and even epa­zote, or cilantro will do won­ders.

When choos­ing a squash for cook­ing look for a hard skinned, rock solid one. In this case soft is not bet­ter.

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