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Confection squash is small to medium in size, averaging 16-17 centimeters in diameter and 11-12 centimeters in height, and has a round and flattened shape with a bumpy, rough, light brown stem. Confection squash has firm, smooth, grey skin with the occasional charcoal mottling. The thick flesh is vibrant orange, has a flaky texture, and contains a hollow seed cavity with stringy pulp that encases many small, flat, pear-shaped seeds. Confection squash must undergo a curing process where it is stored for at least a month to allow the squash to become sweeter and the texture smoother, and the sweetness will intensify with prolonged storage. When cooked, Confection squash has a dry texture and sweet, nutty flavor.
Confection squash is available in the fall through winter.
Confection squash, botanically classified as Cucurbita maxima, is a hybrid of the well-known British variety the crown prince and is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family along with pumpkins and gourds. Also known as Confection kabocha squash or Kabocha Confection squash, Confection squash earns its sweet name from the curing process which helps it develop its sweet taste and tender texture. Though it is not a high yielding variety and is not commercially grown on a broad scale, Confection squash is known by small farms and home gardeners for its sweet, nutty flavors and long storage capabilities with optimum flavor occurring 2-5 months post-harvest.
Confection squash is high in vitamin A, C, and fiber, and is a good source of copper, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids. Other health benefits of Confection squash include antioxidant support and anti-inflammatory properties.
Confection squash is best suited for cooked applications such as baking, roasting, or boiling. It is most commonly sliced, the seeds removed, and baked or roasted with honey and butter for a tender side dish. Roasting each half of the Confection squash will also help maintain its flavor, and the roasted flesh can be used for baked goods, pureed for soups, or frozen for future use. Confection squash pairs well with walnuts, cashew nut, chestnut, orzo, risotto, kale, arugula, onions, jasmine rice, sage, honey, and meats such as poultry, sausage, and pork. Whole, unblemished Confection squash will store well for 5-7 months. Raw, diced pieces of the flesh can also be frozen and used within six months.
Confection squash is popular for its long storage capabilities and is celebrated at squash festivals across Europe. In Poland, the Pumpkin and Squash Open day is celebrated on September 9th and is run in partnership with Tozer Seeds. There were over forty varieties of pumpkins and squashes showcased from one hundred and fifty growers in 2018, and this day allows farmers and home gardeners to gather together to network, promote their favorite varieties, and to learn about new varieties of both squashes and pumpkins.
The Confection squash is a variety bred by Tozer Seeds, a seed company based in the United Kingdom, and they are one of the few breeding companies experimenting with winter squash varieties for northern Europe. The tender Confection squash vine requires more maintenance than the average squash or pumpkin variety, so its availability is limited to smaller farms versus more commercial operations. Confection squash is found in Britain, Europe, and in New Zealand, and in limited quantities through small farms at farmer’s markets in the United States.
Recipes that include Confection Squash. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Victus!Victus!||Roasted Confection Squash Soup|