What British Food is in Season? The Butternut Squash!
In this weeks installment of ‘What British Food is in Season’ we have chosen to highlight the Butternut Squash.
Butternut squash is a type of winter squash. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It has yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp. When ripe, it turns a deep orange colour, and becomes sweeter and richer in taste.
Squash in general has long been an established part of the diet all around the world. Its exact origin is not clear but it is thought that it was eaten in the Americas over 5,000 years ago.
It is known to have been cultivated by the Incas in the fifteenth century and remains a very important source of food throughout much of central and south America.
It is one of the most popular and widely available forms of winter squash, and across the world it crops up in recipes for stews, pasta dishes, risottos, soups and even curries.
When baked and mashed, perhaps with a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon and a splash of cream, it makes a very appetising side dish.
One of our personal favourite ways of cooking butternut squash is by roasting it like you would roast potatoes (especially tasty in duck fat), and then eating with your Sunday roast alongside your crispy tatties!
Click on this link here to be taken to a simple recipe for roasted butternut squash on the BBC food website.
Did you know that Butternut squash belongs to the same species of plants as the pumpkin, cucumber and courgette?
The split between winter and summer squash is primarily based on usage, rather than botanical classification.
Winter squash, such as butternut, are squash that are harvested when mature, with hard skins. Summer squash (including cucumbers and courgettes) are eaten whilst immature and usually have an edible skin and less strongly flavoured flesh.
Butternut squash is a well-balanced food source that is rich in complex carbohydrates and low in saturated fat and sodium.
It is also a very good source of vitamins A, C and E. It is also a good source of beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium.
So there you have it, the humble Butternut Squash. If you have never tried it, now is the time to do so, the nights are getting colder and something warm and tasty is just what you need!
Let me know with a comment if you have a favourite recipe I should try, or if you haven’t tried roasted butternut before, how it goes for you.