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The range of squashes available in the UK is improving all the time, although we still don’t have anything like the variety on sale in America. Squashes are generally divided into winter and summer types, despite the fact that most of them are now on sale all year round. Winter squashes such as pumpkin, butternut and acorn have hard, inedible skins and need peeling and deseeding before eating. Summer squashes such as courgette and pattypan are more delicate and can be eaten whole. When buying squash, choose firm, unwrinkled specimens that are heavy for their size. Summer squash should not be limp and flabby. Winter varieties have the advantage of a long shelf life and will keep for many weeks in a cool place, whereas summer squash should be stored in the fridge and used within four days.