What Is Straightneck Squash?
Straight Neck Squash (SNS) is a popular name given to several varieties of heirloom squash with long necks. They are all small, round and have a distinctively curved neck when compared to other types of squashes. SNS are typically grown outdoors in warm climates where they thrive in hot weather and prefer cool winters.
The term “straight” refers to their shape rather than their length. Many varieties have a pronounced curve at the base of the stem, but others do not.
Some have a slight bend or kink in the stem while others are straight throughout. SNS tend to grow well in full sun and will tolerate some shade, although they may suffer from mildew if left out too long. They are generally drought tolerant and can handle dry conditions provided they get enough moisture during wet periods.
In terms of taste, there is no one type that everyone likes best. However, most people agree that SNS have a very distinctive flavor.
There are many different cultivars of SNS available today and each variety has its own unique characteristics. Some are sweet and delicious while others have a strong nutty flavor.
There are two main ways to cook with straight necked squashes: boiling them or steaming them. You can also fry or bake them if you wish.
In any case, they should be cooked until they are very soft before eating.
What Are The Best Early Prolific Straightneck Squash Recipes?
The earliest straightneck squashes don’t actually have a name other than “early straightneck.” These are very popular with homeowners who want to grow something unique to impress their friends and neighbors. They tend to be smooth and consistent in shape and color. The color of the fruit can vary between a light yellow and orange. They can usually grow up to 20 inches long, but some have been known to reach up to 28 inches long.
When cooked, these squashes turn a dark yellow or even a light green color. They have a very sweet flavor and are delicious when baked in the oven.
The skin is hard to peel off, so some people prefer to leave it on when eating. “Early Prolific Straightneck” are a popular choice for those who want to grow something different.
What Is The Best Heirloom Straightneck Squash?
There are several heirloom straightneck squashes available, although only a few have earned the status of “best.” One such variety is “Cleveland Pickling”. This variety is especially good for canning because it has a very tough skin and holds its shape when cooked. The skin is pale beige in color and the flesh is a light yellow. It has a straight neck that is almost as thick as the body of the fruit.
These fruits can grow up to 24 inches long and weigh between 4 and 6 pounds. They are ready for harvest in around 95 days when they are firm to the touch.
The skin is difficult to peel off so you should cook them whole if you plan on saving any of the flesh for later. The flesh has a very mild and sweet flavor that is most enjoyable in stews and soups.
Another popular heirloom straightneck is “Lincoln”. This cultivar originated before 1894, so it definitely deserves the title of heirloom.
It is an old-fashioned kind of squash with a gray-blue color that turns green when cooked. The neck can grow up to 16 inches long and has a strong and woody texture.
The fruits are around 10 inches in diameter and weigh up to 10 pounds. These squashes have a distinctive leaf-shaped area near the blossom end and a scalloped edge around the bottom.
The skin is easy to peel off and the flesh is excellent when cooked. It has a rich flavor that tastes like butterscotch when baked in the oven. It’s a perfect choice for those who want to try something different.
What Is The Best Ornamental Heirloom Straightneck?
If you’re growing your straight neck squashes for show then the “Rouge Vif d’Etamps” is definitely the one for you. It’s a French heirloom with an unusual green and white zebra-striped skin. The stripes are prominent all the way from the blossom end to the tail. The neck is a beautiful golden yellow and can grow up to 16 inches long. The fruits are around 9 pounds each and are ready for harvest 90 to 100 days after planting.
These squashes have a sweet and nutty flavor when they’re cooked and have a firm texture that isn’t too watery. The skin isn’t tough and peels off very easily, so you might want to cook it with the skin on if you want to save any of the flesh for later.
Ornamental heirlooms are beautiful to look at, but they’re not really the best choice for cooking because their flavor isn’t as good. You should definitely try one of these if you get the chance because they make a great conversation piece on your dinner table.
Which Heirloom Is Best?
There are many different delicious straightneck squashes available, so you’re sure to find one (or several) that you like. “Mammoth Pie” is an all-American favorite, but you might also want to try some of the more unusual heirloom varieties too. If you’re growing them for show then the “Rouge Vif d’Etamps” is a great choice because of its striking zebra-striping.
Whichever you choose to plant, you can enjoy fresh and tasty vegetables all summer long. Just make sure you pick a few extra so you can store some away for the winter too!
Sources & references used in this article:
Resistance of squash varieties to the pickleworm and the value of resistance to insecticidal control by CH Brett, CL McCombs… – Journal of Economic …, 1961 – academic.oup.com
The influence of host deprivation and host source on the reproductive biology and longevity of the squash bug egg parasitoid Gryon pennsylvanicum (Ashmead) … by EA Vogt, JR Nechols – Biological Control, 1993 – Elsevier
The effects of exposure to darkness on sugar translocation in straight-neck squash by FD Tenne – 1973 – thekeep.eiu.edu