What is the Difference Between Summer Squash and Winter Squash?

If you're looking to 
squash
 rumors about winter and summer varieties of your favorite vegetable*, look
no further than this helpful guide. (*Squash is technically a fruit.) While
summer squash and winter squash are obviously related, the primary
differences lie in their maturity and growing times.

Summer squash is best consumed when its skin is soft and tender, while
winter squash is best when its exterior is rigid and hard. Both depend
entirely
on their length of time on the vine, with the latter spending up to a
whopping 120 days (40-60 days with summer squash, by comparison).

Due to the difference in texture, it's no surprise that they're appropriate
in different dishes. Winter squash is ideal for baking and stuffing while
summer
squash is better served sliced, chopped, and cooked down. Winter squash can
also be stored for several months outside of a refrigerator, while chilled
summer squash must be eaten within a week or two of purchase.

Examples of summer squash include green and yellow 
zucchini,
pattypan, crookneck, and cousa. Examples of winter squash include butternut,
spaghetti, acorn, and pumpkin.


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