Butternut Squash History by sandymcKelvey

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									 H A L D A N E
 F A R M T O
SCHOOL
                                                                                               Butternut Squash:
Farmer’s Choice: Thursday, September 30th                                                      Curcurbita moschata:


Roasted Butternut Squash Puree sweetened with Maple Syrup


How did the squash get its name?
                                                                                A Taste of Squash History
"Squash" comes from the Narragansett Native
                                                                           Squash are one of the oldest cultivated
American word askutasquash, which means                                    crops in the Western Hemisphere. Seeds
"eaten raw or uncooked." But winter squash                                 found in Mexico have been dated to
are almost never eaten raw.                                                8,000 B.C.E.
                                                                           Squash were originally cultivated for their
                                                                           seeds, as early varieties did not contain
                          Just the Facts                                   much flesh and were very bitter.The
   • Referred to as a vegetable in cooking, squash are                     seeds and flesh later became an impor-
   actually fruits of vines. Like cucumbers and melons,                    tant part of the pre-Columbian Indian
   they are all part of the Cucurbita genus. Squash and                    diet in both South and North America.
   pumpkins are native to the Americas, while cucum-
   bers originated in eastern Asia and melons in Africa or                 Native Americans roasted or boiled the
   Persia.                                                                 squashes and pumpkins and preserved
                                                                           the flesh as conserves in maple syrup.
   • Besides the fruit, other edible parts of squash plants                They also ate the young shoots, leaves,
   include the seeds (eaten whole, toasted, ground into                    flowers, and seeds.
   paste or pressed for oil); shoots, leaves and tendrils
   (eaten as greens); and blossoms (used for cooking and                   Virginia and New England settlers were
   decoration).                                                            not very impressed by the Indians’ squash
                                                                           until they had to survive the harsh winter,
                                                                           at which point they adopted squash and
                                                                           pumpkins as staples. Squashes were
  Did you know Presidents Washington and                                   baked, cut and moistened with animal
  Jefferson grew squash in their gardens!                                   fat, maple syrup, and honey.
                                                                           For pie, Pilgrims first hollowed out a
Sources:                                                                   squash, filled it with apples, sugar, spices
www.uga.edu/vegetable/squash.html, www.vegparadise.com,                    and milk, then put the stem back on and
www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/squash.html,
http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/3sisters.html,                        baked it.
http://www.harvestofthemonth.com/download/Fall/WinterSquash/ws_edu_2.pdf
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