|The ancient word for any squash is of Indian origin: askutasquash (meaning raw). Both summer and winter squash varieties are very popular in Mexican cooking, including pumpkin, cucumber, yellow, pattypan, zucchini, and the odd-looking chayote.|
It's not just the fruit that is edible. Many Mexican markets carry the blooms and you'll find plenty of recipes for preparing squash blossoms (including battered and fried).
Remember that most winter varieties have a tougher skin. They'll require a longer baking or steaming time.
I'm including two favorite Mexican squash recipes. One is with pumpkin and the other is with the lesser known chayote. It's green and pear-shaped with deep ridges. If you're lucky enough to find it, don't hesitate to give it a try.
Pumpkin in Syrup (Calabaza en Jarabe)
1 small pumpkin
Cut pumpkin in half; remove the seeds and fibers, and slice into several wedges. Layer wedges and sugar in a lidded casserole dish. Pour water around edges. Sprinkle cloves on top and include two sticks cinnamon. Cover and bake at 350-degrees F. for about half an hour. Check to be sure the pumpkin is not drying out or burning on the bottom. A nice, thick syrup will develop. When tender, place pumpkin on a platter or serving dishes and top with the syrup. Add remaining cinnamon sticks before serving.
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Pittsburg, TX 75686
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