Farmers Market for Oct. 3, 2013

October is the month for winter squash of all types, including Louisiana favorite cushaw.

There are several types of cushaw, but the most common here are large fruit with green and white stripes and come in an assortment of shapes. The flesh is fiberous and yellow and, like all squash, it bears a handful of seeds in its rounded belly.

Cushaw are new world squash that originated in the south of Mexico. They are traditionally served like many other winter squashes, baked, cooked in pies, or pure ├ęd into smooth, creamy soups. Smaller specimens may be used as fall decorations, with the striking green color complementing the usual bright orange pumpkins.

Winter squash are not named for the months when they are grown but for the fruit’s ability to be stored during the winter months, thanks to their harder outer skins. Typically larger than their warm-weather counterparts, other winter squash include butternut squash, acorn squash and hubbard squash.