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Florida Fruits and Vegetables in the Commercial Menu


Squash, in some variety, every month in the year is in the Florida market. All of the usual varieties and of the unusual types flourish in Florida soil and climate.

Squash, being nine per cent nutrients, has a higher value than pumpkin, which is rated five per cent. It is equally as attractive in flavor and appearance as asparagus if prepared with the same care. It is much more economical than asparagus. Yellow squash is said to have more vitamin A than have the white varieties.

Too long has this vegetable, with a value all its own, been considered in the commercial menu only as a portion of an onion dish. Squash, in all its types, adapts itself easily to a long list of happy table surprises.


1. Chinese Squash.

Chinese squash or melon, round or slightly elongated, is a light green color and has a rind something like a watermelon. When young it has a whitish, fuzzy appearance. The meat, about two inches thick and the seed are white. The flavor is mild. Steaming is the best method for cooking. It forms a good casserole lining for squab or chicken.

2. Summer Squash.

Summer squash is an oval or round shaped fruit. Its preparation is similar to that of the Chinese squash. It may be steamed or boiled. Combined with eggs and the proper seasoning it forms a most palatable baked dish. The yellow variety adds attractive coloring to the vegetable plate. This fruit varies all the way from white, light green, to a deep yellow. A new variety, the Cocozelle, is interesting in that the crooked neck has been straightened. It is what is known as the Italian Vegetable Marrow. It grows from ten to twelve inches long, is dark in color and mild in flavor.

3. Winter Squash.

Winter squash should be peeled and seeded before baking.

4. Hubbard Squash.

Hubbard squash or pumpkin squash has a large, dark green, warted rind. It will keep well in storage. The flesh is an orange color, rich in vitamin A. It is good for baking and for making pies. The flavor is excellent. Baked in the rind it loses none of its food value.

5. Chayote.

The chayote grows on a climbing vine which, when once established, continues to grow year after year. The fruit is pear shaped more or less and varies in size and color as well as shape. It has only the one big seed easily removed.


To prepare for cooking, peel and slice or dice; steam until tender—no longer. Serve with butter. To vary the dish, cream the squash or fry the slices in butter. Squash fritters are tasty when made of chayote: a sauce made of steamed, mashed chayote combined with the juice of the flowers of the Florida Roselle has a pleasing flavor; sweeten the sauce slightly and a good dessert is the result; chayote pie made similar to the green apple pie, either the deep dish or custard type, is equally as palatable as the green apple pie itself.

Chayote Pie.

4 cups diced chayote,
1 cup sugar,
1 tablespoon flower,
¼ cup butter,
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated rind of lemon.

Peel, slice, and dice chayote. Cover with water and cook until tender, leaving about one cup liquid. Mix sugar and flour and grated nutmeg and lemon rind. Line the baking pan with pastry. Place the chayote in the pan alternating with the sugar mixture. Pour over the fruit the one cup of liquid in which it was cooked. Have the liquid boiling hot. Add the top crust at once. Set the pie in a moderate oven and bake well from the bottom. Do not allow to brown too quickly on top. A deep dish pie made in this material is most appetizing served hot. Only the sides of the dish may be lined with pastry and additional strips added as the dish is filled. In this case more liquid is necessary.

Chayote Conservation.

The fruit or vegetable, as it may be called, may be preserved like pears in thin slices, and spiced with lemon or ginger. Made into a spiced sweet pickle it is a delightful relish. Plain canned, it may be used like squash—baked, steamed or fried—or it may be used in salads.

Excerpt from Stennis, M.A., "VIII-Squash" Florida Fruits and Vegetables in the Commercial Menu, State of Florida Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee, September, 1931, pgs 42-43.

Keywords: chayote, chinese squash, cooking, hubbard squash, recipe, recipes, summer squash, winter squash, vegetable, vegetables


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