Squashes, Winter (Pumpkins and Other Large Types): Calabaza, Caribbean pumpkin, West Indian pumpkin, and Cuban squash

Cucurbita moschata

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Calabaza, Caribbean pumpkin, West Indian pumpkin, and Cuban squash (Cucurbita moschata) are general names for warm-zone pumpkins. Like “kabocha”, the word “calabaza” means no more than squash in the countries that grow it. But in the United States, calabaza, again like kabocha, has become the name for a particular kind of squash—which is, however, so variable in appearance and quality as to seem to be many kinds. Rounded or tending toward pearshape, averaging 10 pounds, it has mottled skin that may be evergreen, orange, amber, or buff, and speckled or striated; but it is always relatively smooth and hardshelled when mature. Unlike other pumpkins, it is grown primarily in warmer climates and thus is available year-round. Favored by many Latin Americans and Filipinos, calabaza is likely to be in markets that cater to those populations.

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