Squash Wars: Sunshine

“Sunshine … seems to make superb squash even when poorly grown.”

  • Carol Deppe, The Resilient Gardener

I found another squash to fall in love with! Not as sweet as Honeynut, or with quite as dry and floury or powdery a texture as Blue Banana, Sunshine is still an amazing find, and top-ranking in my opinion. Sunshine (F1 – it’s a hybrid) has thick, soft and smooth flesh, giant, plump, flavourful seeds, and barely any watery guts inside, making the seeds easy to clean. The meat of the squash is sweet but complex tasting and seems to just melt in your mouth. Even cold it is delicious and full of flavour. I have been baking it and eating it plain with a side of homemade fermented cashew cheese, or baked it in little pieces and put it in miso soup. The problem with the latter is that it’s so tempting, baked into little bite-sized chunks that I end up eating a lot of them before they make it to the soup. Oh well.

Sunshine is a type of kuri squash, but the pretty much identical-looking Orange Kuri I had a while ago didn’t even bear a resemblance to Sunshine, flavour-wise. So, if you’re looking for this squash, you might have to ask the grower its variety, and not depend on what it looks like. I was only lucky enough to get it because I asked the Blue Banana grower at the farmers’ market what she recommended, and she mentioned the Sunshine. I had assumed they were Orange Kuris, which are more common. This squash has won a bunch of flavour awards, and Carol Deppe, weird squash aficionado (she is weird, I mean, not the squash) swears by Sunshine as a delicious prime winter squash in short or imperfect growing seasons. She is all about growing squash a certain way, and she may well be right. Anyway, I can’t praise this squash enough.

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