Summer Squash

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

summer squash a name used for those kinds of squash, mostly of the species Cucurbita pepo, which are eaten fresh in season, when they are immature and the skin is still soft, as opposed to winter squash (mostly of the species C. maxima) which can be stored and whose skin hardens during storage.

The distinction is not always useful, since some C. pepo varieties, e.g. the Crookneck group, store well, while winter squash can be good eaten fresh. Nor is there a clear botanical distinction; there are some varieties of C. pepo, e.g. Acorn, which are mostly used as winter squashes, although if harvested when young they can be eaten as summer squashes.