Now that summer is coming to a close, it’s time to enjoy one of the most popular fruits that fall has to offer: squash and gourds. While in cooking squash and gourds are considered vegetables, botanically speaking squash and gourds are fruit.
Summer squashes like zucchini and yellow crookneck are harvested during the growing season, are eaten almost immediately and require very little cooking time.
Winter squashes like butternut, acorn, spaghetti and pumpkin are harvested at the end of the summer, can be stored in a cool, dry place for eating later and generally require longer cooking times.
Gourds are from the same family as squashes.
When purchasing these fruits, look for squash and gourds that are fairly heavy and firm. Choose squash that have bright, glossy exteriors and avoid squash that have nicks, bruises or soft spots.