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898 squash are compact, averaging 10 to 15 centimeters in length, and have a bulbous base that curves into a slender, rounded neck. The skin is smooth, shiny, thin, and firm, ripening from pale green with light striping around the stem to solid tan when mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is dense, semi-dry, starchy, and yellow-orange, encasing a small cavity filled with delicate, stringy orange fibers and tear-drop shaped, cream-colored seeds. 898 squash, when cooked, develops a finely textured, tender, and creamy consistency. The flesh is initially rich and sweet, deepening into a complex savory, nutty, and malt-like flavor.
898 squash is available in the fall and can be stored through the early spring.
898 squash, botanically classified as Cucurbita moschata, is an improved, compact variety that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. The story of the 898 squash began many years ago over a conversation between chef Dan Barber and breeder Michael Mazourek. Barber proposed a challenge for Mazourek to create a smaller, more flavorful butternut squash, and through this unique partnership, multiple squash varieties were created with favorable characteristics. 898 squash was developed as a smaller, longer storing version of the honeynut squash, which was also one of the originally improved butternut cultivars. 898 squash is an experimental variety that can easily fit into the palm of a hand. The squash was selected for its small, individual serving-size, concentrated flavor, enriched nutritional properties, and high yields. The tiny squash also bears the name 898, which references its trial number in studies. 898 squash is organically grown through Row 7 seed company and is valued by chefs for its sweet and savory flavor.
898 squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is a provitamin that is used in the body to make vitamin A. Beta-carotene is often what gives produce is orange pigment and acts as an antioxidant. When beta-carotene is converted, vitamin A is an essential nutrient that can help maintain proper organ functioning, improve vision, and help boost the immune system.
898 squash is best suited for roasting, which develops a soft and tender texture with a caramelized finished. The squash is highly praised for its small size, and many preparations showcase this novelty by slicing the squash in half, roasting with oil, and then serving the flesh in the roasted skin. 898 squash has a sweet flavor that does not need additional sweeteners such as maple syrup or brown sugar. The squash can also be roasted, pureed, or mashed as a savory-sweet dish, or it can be stuffed with complimentary grains, herbs, vegetables, and meats. Beyond showcasing the squash’s individual serving size, the flesh can be roasted and sliced for use in salads, vegetable side dishes, or pureed into sauces. 898 squash pairs well with greens such as radicchio, kale, and endive, herbs such as oregano, sage, rosemary, and thyme, mushrooms, green apples, pine nuts, cheeses such as goat and parmesan, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds. The squash will keep 1-4 months when stored whole in a cool and dark place.
Row 7 is a seed company formed out of a creative collaboration between chefs, growers, and plant breeders. Revolutionizing the way new products are introduced to the market, Row 7 focuses on developing chef-requested items with improved flavors, organic cultivation practices, and increased nutritional value. Row 7 was founded by chef Dan Barber in partnership with seedsman Matthew Goldfarb and breeder Michael Mazourek. The company aims to focus its seed creation around flavor, which is uncommon for breeders who are generally focused on uniformity and high yield. Row 7 also keeps all of their released seeds unpatented, so future breeders can continue to improve on the existing varieties. This creative, grassroots breeding style is changing the relationship between chefs, seed breeders, and growers, and through social media, farm to table dining, and conversations, the new varieties are being quickly promoted across the United States.
898 squash was developed by breeder Michael Mazourek at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The new variety was created from a desire to improve on the honeynut squash’s limited storage capabilities. Through years of research, organic cultivation practices, and trials, Mazourek generated the 898 squash that exhibited an extended storage life, concentrated flavor, increased yield, and high nutritional content in an even smaller, more compact size. Today 898 squash is still considered to be in its experimental stage, and the seeds are offered through the Row 7 online catalog for growers, chefs, and home gardeners across the United States.
Recipes that include 898 Squash. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Row 7 Seeds||898 Puree and Squash Skin Crumble|